Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow
Colorful dots, pumpkins and infinity mirrors. No other art exhibition in Singapore has received so much attention and hype months in advance where news article of the arrival of Yayoi Kusama artworks were circulated and shared a couple of thousand times. The popularity was highly anticipated by National Gallery of Singapore which sets up crowd-control measures and even a unique hashtag for all the Instagram lovers – #sgloveskusama. It is no doubt that National Gallery Singapore’s blockbuster exhibition has been a great hit with all the highly Instagrammable spots and OOTD locations.
To complete the experience, the National Gallery of Singapore has a series of public exhibitions and interactive installations all around the museum. Upon arriving at the museum, the pillars outside are donned in the iconic red and white dotted motifs while yellow and black dotted balls loomed over the museum’s City Hall Courtyard.
As part of the Children’s Biennale, The Obliteration Room is a collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery. This interactive exhibition allows visitors to stick colourful stickers all over the furniture and walls of this white room, and watch as the space magically transforms. The actual Kusama exhibition itself is a dazzling display of over 120 sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations with a bizarre and kaleidoscopic take from the Japanese artist.
By making use of Popular Chip‘s Analytics platform social listening feature, we were able to find the top liked exhibition posts by using the official hashtag #sgloveskusama. Now, what better way to introduce Yayoi’s artworks than to show some of the top posts on Instagram.
‘Infinity Mirrored Room – Gleaming Lights of the Souls’
(Top post: 12k likes by @prettyfrowns, 5k by @willamazing) The infinity room was first created in 1965, where a series of mirrors and LED lights transform Kusama’s net and dot paintings into a complete immersive sensory experience. This kaleidoscopic room creates an illusion of an infinitely repeating and expanded space. Blogger Willabelle mentioned on her blog how excited she was to have been able to score a photo with this installation after a failed attempt to sneak a shot in the Tokyo exhibition (they did not permit photo-taking like what??).
‘With All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever’
(Top post: 9k likes by @bellywellyjelly, 3k by @ec24m) An entire room filled with giant polka dot tulips and big bright colored dots, it definitely looks like a childhood dream scene. This exhibit soon became one of the most popular, Insta worthy spots that local bloggers go to for their ootd shot.
‘The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens’
(Top post: 12k likes by @leialauren, 3k likes by @gracelsyy) This exhibit features an endless view of Kusama’s signature yellow and black motifs. Her intense love for pumpkins was said to come from her childhood, when she was introduced to the pumpkins in their family’s seed nursery. The top post for this exhibit comes from this candid shot of Instagram twin star Leia and Lauren as they enjoyed a day out at the museum for the exhibition preview with their mum, Amber (@emberyong)
At the official opening reception for YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow last night and boy, was I not expecting this. Kusama has been doing art for 7 decades. Throughout this journey, she has had to face haunting tribulations but that did not stop her from sharing her love of art with us. Personally, I feel myself relating and being greatly inspired by her empowering story. Be bold, be yourself. Don’t be afraid and don’t hide. Your uniqueness is what makes you special. This exhibition is currently on display at @NationalGallerySingapore and runs till Sept 3. #SGLovesKusama
(Top post: 10k likes by @julietan_cxq, 3k by @xcalikins) Local artiste Julie Tan paid a visit to this mega installation, a garden of 1,500 reflective stainless steel balls and took a stunning ootd shot that received much engagement from her followers. This is a new iteration of the Narcissus Garden which Kusama first staged at the 33rd Venice Biennale.
Well recognized for her red wig and sparkling red lips 88 years old Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer who worked with various media, including collage, sculptures, installations and paintings of vivid colors, repetition and patterns. She later moved to the United States and settled down in New York City where she was associated with the pop art movement and embraced the rise of the hippie era . Famous for her iconic polka dots and pumpkin motifs in the modern times, Kusama’s artworks are well received all over the world with overwhelming queues outside her shows and thousands of images of her artwork flooding social media platforms.
“Since my childhood, I have loved the round image of dots… Dots have taught me the proof of my existence. They scatter proliferating love in the universe and raise my mind to the height of the sky. This mysterious dots obsession. Dots even enter my dreams with art playing a trick on them, art which I love so deeply.” (Yayoi Kusama 2006)
As the world transcend into a digital world, the artist herself is fully supportive of the proliferation of digital media in spreading her artworks, where people share her art on platforms including social media. In fact, the artist expresses her gratitude by saying, “My hometown used to lack understanding in contemporary art and that was hard for me. Nowadays however, my ideas and creativity have become favourably received so much that it is reported in newspapers, on TV and in social media. It is important that my art is shared with so many people in many different forms, and I am grateful for that.” (CNA)
Although you might be too late to post that trippy OOTD on Instagram, it is still not too late to catch the exhibition which will be ongoing until the 3rd of September (do go, you will not regret!).