10th Anniversary of the National Art Center, Tokyo YAYOI KUSAMA: My Eternal Soul

Overview

Since her debut, she has been enormously productive in terms of experimenting with different forms of artwork including paintings, collages, sculptures, environmental installations, novels and poetry. In recent years, her exhibitions toured various countries around Europe, Latin America, and Asia, receiving worldwide acclaim. To say she is the most important artist in Japan is not an overstatement.
The National Art Center, Tokyo Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul exhibition features 132 paintings from Kusama’s “My Eternal Soul” series that she embarked on in 2009. The exhibition also presents a retrospective view, through 80 works that range from her earliest drawings to the present. These are lent from a number of collections. In all, over 270 works selected from Kusama’s more than 70-year prolific career are on display.

Date February 22 (Wed.) - May 22 (Mon.) , 2017
Closed on Tuesdays (except for May 2)
Opening hours 10:00-18:00
*10:00-20:00 on Fridays and April 29 (Sat.) – May 7 (Sun.)
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo (Kokuritsu-Shin-Bijutsukan), Special Exhibition Gallery 1E
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558
Organized by The National Art Center, Tokyo, The Asahi Shimbun, TV Asahi
With the sponsorship of KAJIMA CORPORATION, OKAMURA PRINTING INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.
With the cooperation of YAYOI KUSAMA STUDIO, Panasonic Corporation, TOKYO FM
Admission (tax included)
General 1,600 yen (Adults), 1,200 yen (College students), 800 yen (High school students)
Advance/Group 1,400 yen (Adults), 1,000 yen (College students), 600 yen (High school students)

* Visitors who are under junior high school students and disabled people with ID booklets (along with the one assistant) will be admitted for free.

* Free entrance to the exhibition for high school students from March 18 (Sat.) to March 20 (Mon.), 2017, upon presenting students ID.

* Advance tickets on sale from January 1, 2017 (Sun.) to February 21 (Tue.) (from January 11 (Wed.) to February 20 (Mon.) at the National Art Center, Tokyo).
After February 22 (Wed.), only General tickets available

* Tickets both Advance and General are available through The National Art Center, Tokyo (only on open days), exhibition website (ONLINE TICKETS), and other major ticket agencies. Service charges may apply. (These service are only available in Japanese.)

* Group tickets will only be available at the venue and discounts only applicable to groups of 20 people or more.

  • Reduction (100 yen off) applies to visitors who present the ticket stub of a concurrent exhibition at The National Art Center, Tokyo, Suntory Museum of Art or Mori Art Museum (Art Triangle Roppongi).
  • For Students, faculty and staff, of “Campus Members”, group discounts apply to purchasing tickets.
  • Credit card (UC, Master Card, VISA, JCB, AMEX, Diners Club, DISCOVER) , e-cash (Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, etc.), iD, J-Debit and Union Pay are available for purchasing tickets.
Inquiries Tel : +81 (0)3-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)

Outline

I Kusama in the 21st Century

Kusama is included in TIME magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2014, Art Newspaper named her the world's most popular artist. Her solo exhibition that toured Reina Sofia (Madrid), Tate Modern (London), the Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the Whitney Museum (New York) received extensive press coverage. Touring exhibitions in Latin America, Asia, and Northern Europe followed.

"My Eternal Soul"
The "My Eternal Soul" series, begun in 2009, is an ongoing project currently comprising over 500 paintings. In the early stages of production, Kusama used several sizes of canvas, measuring 162×130.3cm, or 162×162cm. Later, the size standardized to a quasi-square canvas measuring 194×194cm. The series is marked by astonishing variety, incorporating abstract patterns as well as natural forms. It represents the essence of Kusama’s art, and is an embodiment of all the elements of her corpus of work.

II Kusama in the 20th Century

1 Kusama in Matsumoto
Interested in painting since childhood, Yayoi Kusama began to study nihonga (Japanese-style paintings) at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts. She became disenchanted with the course, and instead went on to create independently at her home in Matsumoto. In the 1950s, Kusama depicted abstract as well as natural forms, and developed a variety of motifs based on plant and animal forms, the planets and universe, and urban landscapes. Art critic Shūzō Takiguchi recognized her abilities and organized several solo exhibitions for her in Tokyo.
2 Kusama in New York 1957-73
Kusama felt limited in Japan. In the autumn of 1957, she moved to the United States and settled down the following year in New York. Her Infinity Nets paintings, vast fields of canvas filled with monochrome strokes with no center, and no structure, quickly gained attention. Following that, her work revealed obsessions with sex and food. She produced furniture with appended soft sculpture phallic forms, accumulations and installations, as well as Happenings (performance art).
3 Kusama in Tokyo
In 1973, Kusama returned to Tokyo due to ill health. She continued creating while staying in the hospital. Motifs of her work include polka dots, nets, and phallic imagery in paintings, sculptures, and installations. Vivid colors and figurative motifs emerged as new elements during this period. She also began work in media such as collage, engraving, and in the writing of fiction and poetry. Her straightforward expression related to the subjects of death, sex, and the infinite universe attracted new audiences. Her artistic horizons also broadened through a number of collaborations.