Yayoi Kusama: Yayoi Kusama


Opening reception:
Friday, 28 November 2014 19.00 - 21.00

Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present "Yayoi Kusama", a solo exhibition featuring nine new, brilliant paintings and a set of fibreglass sculptures by Yayoi Kusama. Already in the sixth decade of her career, the renown Japanese artist is still continually evolving and accelerating her instantly recognisable style.

Yayoi Kusama's work emerged during the second half of the twentieth century in post-war Japan and later New York, amidst the burgeoning art movements of pop and minimalism. Since then, her experimentation with fields as vast apart as fashion, performance art, immersive large-scale installation, outdoor sculpture, literature, poetry, film and video, and also painting and drawing, have yielded a hugely influential and broad career. Yet throughout the years, Kusama's visionary philosophy remains constant: it harkens to the universe, elevating her very self to the realm of the cosmic.

For this exhibition, Kusama has prepared three large square paintings that are part of her ongoing "My Eternal Soul" series -- the largest series of paintings she has accumulated to date. Begun in 2009, "My Eternal Soul" is the flowering of her long-standing interest in the universal, her longing for immortality through her art; yet it also stands a glorious testament to her extraordinary talent as a colourist. The pieces burst at their seams with exuberant colour, while melding figurative and abstract motifs in a dancing union. Works such as TIME GOES BY, DEATH APPROACHES are edged with a patchwork of iconic "Infinity Net" patterns, while also peopled by eyes and profiles. Further in LONGING FOR ETERNITY, these eyes proliferate in the same way the "Infinity Nets" have come to characterise her obsessive painting.

This exhibition also surveys the more widely known icons Yayoi Kusama has popularised -- from her eccentric self-portraits, to flowers and shoes, and her most well-loved alter ego, the pumpkin. The artist has always had a strong personal identification with the pumpkin, speaking of the peculiar vegetable as her own unique form of self-portraiture. A glowing YELLOW PUMPKIN is mirrored by the two DOTS-OBSESSION canvases, "Infinity Dot" works that are developed from Kusama's characteristic yellow-and-black pumpkin surfaces.

At the centre of the exhibition stands a set of two fibreglass sculptures, whose title HIGH HEELS FOR GOING TO HEAVEN returns us to the transcendent themes of life and death in her work. Animated in vivid primary colours, the work emerges out of a fantastical universe that is entirely and uniquely Yayoi Kusama's own.

About Yayoi Kusama:
Well known for her use of dense patterns of polka dots and nets, as well as her intense, large-scale environments, Yayoi Kusama works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance, and immersive installation. Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama came to the United States in 1957 and quickly found herself at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. After achieving fame through groundbreaking exhibitions and happenings, she returned to her native country in1973 and is now one of Japan's most prominent contemporary artists.

Organised by the Tate Modern, London, the largest retrospective dedicated to Kusama toured the Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2011); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011); and the Whitney Museum, New York (2012) to critical acclaim. Kusama's work is currently the subject of three major international museum exhibitions throughout Japan, Asia and Latin America. Her work is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate Gallery, London; amongst many others. She lives and works in Tokyo.

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