Yayoi Kusama – ‘Obliteration Room’ and ‘I’m Here, But Nothing’

Back in the third year of my Fine Art degree, my great tutor Amanda Couch organised a trip to galleries in London. One of the first galleries was the Victoria Miro in Mayfair and I was dazzled. Yayoi Kusama’s drawings were ignored, all I could see where her installations and get absorbed in her ‘Infinity Mirror Room’.

When I saw Kusama’s ‘The Obliteration Room‘ (above) I didn’t realise it was her work. I was reminded of ‘I’m Here, But Nothing‘ which I saw back in my Uni days (see below images) but the work is slightly different. The viewer can interact with the artwork; children only being allowed to add stickers to the walls and domestic items in the room. How I remember ‘The Obliteration Room’ was that you opened the door, slid into the room, which was pitch black apart from a UV light and thousands of equally spaced glow-in-the-dark stickers. The room made me dizzy, people were stumbling and any sense of surroundings was lost.

I’m Here, But Nothing

I’m Here, But Nothing

Narcissus Garden

Infinity Mirror Room: Love Forever

‘En masse Kusama’s work is beautiful but overwhelming, the product of a self-described obsession.’ Victoria Miro Gallery

‘The encounter with my work is extremely important at this stage. I am a factory worker and the monotomy of these tasks I make myself complete have an effect on me. The balance of control is off-kilter as I feel like I am being controlled by my objects.’ 3rd year Project Plan from uni

‘Obliterate your personality with polka dots. Become one with eternity. Become part of your environment. Take off your clothes. Forget yourself. Make love. Self-destruction is the only way to peace.’ Yayoi Kusama

Since the visit to the gallery, I have found a love for her drawings, especially the repetition of Infinity Nets.

What excited me is the idea of painting an entire room and objects completely white, as in ‘The obliteration room‘.

More images of The Obliteration room here

More images of the entire exhibition ‘Look Now, See Forever’ here

Kusama’s website

Anyway, watch out because she’s coming to the Tate Modern in February: 9th feb 2012-5th jun 2012


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