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Yayoi Kusama at the TATE


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By Cherelle Mukoko on 8th March 2023

"Theatrical, moody and dramatic", that's how contributor Cherelle Mukoko would describe the brand new Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the TATE.

It’s not often that I am captivated by an artist, and I don’t just mean by their work, but by who they are as a person. Yayoi Kusama left me intrigued and wanting to know more after witnessing her extraordinary collaboration with design powerhouse Louis Vuitton. So, who is this Japanese artist that stole the hearts of many? I took to YouTube to see if I could find out more about this fascinating woman and, how at 93, she has dominated some of the worlds most famous galleries and department stores. It’s safe to say that my endless hours of watch time made me a fan.

On a mission to solidify my fan girl status, I booked a family day out to the Tate Modern to see a very special showcase of two immersive mirror room exhibitions by Yayoi Kusama. After knowing more about her history and why she is one of the most celebrated artists of our time, I was extremely excited to be able to get to experience her much-loved work in such a up close and personal setting.

The exhibition features an infinity mirrored room filled with the brilliance of life. One of Kusama's largest installations to date, this particular room mirrored walls and a shallow pool of water, endlessly multiplying a constellation of tiny, suspended lights that gave the feeling of infinite space. I was in awe as the bright lights lit up the smile on my two year old daughters face, and I loved that you could actually hear and almost feel the water surrounding you. But the installation that left me speechless was the `The Chandelier of Grief’. I felt like the lead role in a thriller movie as I tried to find the exit through the reflections of rotating chandeliers; it was theatrical, moody and dramatic.

Accompanying the installations were an array of never-before-seen images of the artist, along with videography that made you feel as though you were with her in that moment. Film footage was captured by British academic John Jones (1926-2010), which featured Yayoi in her New York apartment in the mid 1960’s.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror is curated by Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern and Katy Wan, Assistant curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition will be accompanied by a learning programme, as well as community engagement events supported by Bank of America. 

There is a reason this exhibition keeps selling out with queues winding round the corners of the George Economou Gallery, it’s a must see and it has been extended until June 2023. Whether you go on a family day out or on a solo date you will create unforgettable memories.

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