I felt a mixture of awe and pure delight upon stepping foot into the end of the universe. Each tiny room was an infinity of possibilities - a never ending Wonderland. We twirled. We laughed. We Snapchatted. The world of Kusama is a memorizing playground for adults - the meaning completely in the eye of the beholder.
Yayoi Kusama was born in Japan in 1929. Throughout her career she has captivated the world with conceptual art, a type of art usually experienced rather than stared at. Her work can be found from London to LA, each exhibition conjuring different outcomes. Her exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston was a highly anticipated event. Everyone in the city wanted to experience the End of the Universe, myself included.
When I first saw the installations, two boxes in the middle of a giant hall, I was nervous. I have always been afraid of small spaces, my claustrophobia often the cause of rare panic attacks. We had bought our tickets for late in the evening and the mood was calm and quiet. Evenings at the museum have a different atmosphere during the day, which helped my fears turn into steady excitement. As we stepped inside the first room, Love Is Calling, I instantly felt like I was in Wonderland.
Everyone is bound to have a different experience, but for me I felt pure joy. The limitless room was full of possibilities. The voice of Kusama rang in our ears as she spoke of love in Japanese. You want to know what she is saying, but you have a feeling she is telling you everything is going to be okay.
The second room was even smaller. We stood on a tiny platform surrounded by still water. I wasn't really sure where the floor ended and the water began, so we all huddled together and watched as the lights around us steadily grew stronger.
Aftermath of Obliteration makes you feel tiny in a sea of lights. With only a minute to take in our surroundings, I was left feeling somewhat empty. The docent opened the door and we were forced to step back out into reality. But I suppose that is how Kusama wanted you to feel. The beauty that the world could be vs the reality that actually is.
Currently, there are three Kusama exhibitions running around the United States.
At the End of the Universe, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: June 12 - September 18, 2016.
Infinity Mirrored Room, The Broad, Los Angeles: September 2015 - September 2016
Narcissus Garden, The Glass House, New Caanan, Connecticut: May 1 - Novemeber 30, 2016
"If you can be happy with my artwork, if you can feel something from my work, there is nothing more joyous for me than that." Yayoi Kusama