Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life
2011 by Yayoi Kusama
Kusama is an artist who has continued to fascinate her following ever since she emerged into the New York art scene in the 1960s. Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama has seen much of the last hundred year’s tumultuous history – a fact that has affected both her art and life. In 1977 Kusama returned to Japan to voluntarily live in a psychiatric institution, continuing to make art and inviting us into her mind in doing so. No one can enter into another’s frame of mind but if art mirrors life, art is perhaps the best chance we have of trying. Instead of quashing her hallucinations and banishing so-called mad perceptions, Kusama famously visualises them, showing us her way of seeing. In an act that is both brave and intimate, Kusama transforms her illusions into a celebration; here using them to fill a room with the brilliance of life. Stepping into Kusama’s infinitely mirrored room, one is confronted with what appears as millions of coloured stars, dazzling LED lights that are suspended and repeated in the reflection of an ever-lasting night sky. With walls covered in mirrors, the floor flooded into a pool of shimmering and magical water, one walks through Kusama’s room treading an invisibly dark path, as if trespassing into another world. The bright lights of imagination, ignited in a dazzling array of colours, grow bright and disappear with each flashing bulb; ideas in a sea of nothingness. Enveloped and immersed, we are powerless in the lights of Kusama’s room, so entirely do they hold our attention. The outside world – and each of our own ways of seeing – is usurped by a vision so fantastical it appears magically unreal. We are left feeling charmed, bewitched by a room that recalls the majesty of nature as well the wonder of imagination – a work of art that truly captures the brilliance of life.