Colours, lights, mirrors, and Yayoi Kusama; Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition at National Gallery Singapore

You might have seen pictures of colourful polka dots, pumpkins and mirror rooms floating around your social media feed the past few days - and it's all because of the highly-anticipated exhibition that's coming to National Gallery Singapore. 

Yayoi Kusama's first survey show in Southeast Asia, titled Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow will run from June 9 to September 3, 2017, in the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery.

Photo courtesy: National Gallery
Photo courtesy: National Gallery

As one of the world’s most influential artists, Kusama has played a crucial role in key art movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Beginning with paintings from the 1950s, the exhibition traces the development of her key motifs and exploration of colour, form and space. Along the way, it highlights her forays into sculpture, collage, performance and video, before culminating in a series of spectacular installations and large-scale paintings that transform our galleries and public spaces.

One of her widely acclaimed works include the Infinity Mirrored Room. It's amazing display of light and the way it stretches into the unknown just keeps reminding us of how finite we can be. 

Photo courtesy: National Gallery
Photo courtesy: National Gallery

First created in 1965, Kusama's infinity mirror rooms transform the repetitive approach of her net and dot paintings into an immersive sensory experience. Ranging in format from small peep boxes to room-scale installations, these kaledoscopic environments invite contemplation in an infinitely repeating, expanded space.

"By using light, their reflection, and so on, I wanted to show the cosmic image beyond the world where we live," Kusama said previously. 

Photo courtesy: National Gallery
Photo courtesy: National Gallery

The humble pumpkin is one of Kusama's most beloved motifs. The origin of her distinctive yellow-and-black colour scheme, these whimsical, bulbous forms appear regularly in her paintings, prints, sculptures and inst. This work combines an image of a pumpkin with the artist's signature nets and dots motifs.

High volume of visitors are expected, so while the Gallery will be increasing manpower and introducing timed ticketing for the exhibition, do expect about 20 minutes waiting time. 

This exhibition is a collaboration between National Gallery Singapore and Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia. 

Entry charges are S$15 for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents; S$25 for non-Singaporeans. 

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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