One of the ways we can strive to live mindfully is by seeking out new opportunities and experiences around us. Whether it’s exploring a new city, trying a new food, playing a new game, or even finding different things to do around where we live, this is one way to ensure we never stop learning and growing. Recently I’ve been using a book/journal called The Experience Passport (you can read a short post I wrote on it here) as inspiration to try new things and expand my mind and horizons.
One of the prompts in the passport tells you to visit three museums and write about your favorite exhibits. Earlier this summer I crossed the first one off the list by going to the Washington State History Museum, and this past Thursday I got to check off museum number 2.
My mom, sister, and I went to the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, and I’m seriously considering going again… it was that good. If you live in the Seattle area, you really have to go see this exhibit before it closes on September 10th. If you don’t, definitely keep an eye out for any of her exhibits on display near you, and live vicariously through this post in the meantime 😉 I’m going to share some photos as well as some tips of what to expect if you go.
Here’s a little background info…
Yayoi Kusama is 88 years old and she is still producing art. I don’t know about you but I find this to be 1.) unbelievable and 2.) inspiring! At the age of 28 she came from Japan to live in the United States, where she lived and worked for 15 years before returning to her home country. Her first use of mirrors as a multi-reflective device was in 1965.
This exhibit, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, includes some of her paintings, multimedia work, and several mirrored room installations – all with a different story. One of Kusama’s themes is the exploration of life and its aftermath, expressed through the infinite quality these mirrored rooms have. Her themes are quite interesting and abstract, but they all have a purpose. If you visit the exhibit you can read about them in more detail! It’s really hard to describe what it’s like to experience these rooms. I really suggest seeing them for yourself if you can!
Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field, 1965.
Infinity Mirrored Room: Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, 2009
Infinity Mirrored Room: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016
This was the only room where photographs weren’t allowed. I personally loved it, being that we were almost forced to fully appreciate and take in the art. I really tried to do this in each room by observing first and then just quickly taking one or two photos. Due to Yayoi Kusama’s wishes, you’re only allowed 20-30 seconds in each room, but you’re allowed to go back through the line to see the room as many times as you want.
Infinity Mirrored Room: Love Forever, 1966/1994
In this room there were two square peepholes for you to look through. The lights quickly change colors and of course gave that illusion of infinity… it felt like a never-ending carnival to me!
Dots Obsession: Love Transformed into Dots, 2007, installed 2017
I love pink and polka dots… so I have to say this one was my favorite.
This next photo was taken from a peephole that peers into a single large balloon.
The Obliteration Room, 2002-present, installed 2017
Believe it or not, this room started out completely white. Every single visitor gets a sheet of stickers to stick wherever they’d like, and there is no time limit in this room. It is complete with a dining room, living room, and all sorts of household objects (my favorite was the phone)!
Below are some photos of other works inside the exhibit.
Apparently Kusama finishes one of these large paintings every 4 days on average… at 88 years old… what?!
Overall this experience was really fun and eye-opening. I loved Yayoi Kusama’s use of color, shapes, light, and of course… mirrors. A lot of people in Seattle are eager to see her work, so it was fairly busy.
Tips for planning your trip:
- Currently all that’s left are day-of timed tickets, and they are first come, first serve.
- The museum opens at 10:00am, but people typically line up ahead of time. We got in line around 8:30am and our tickets ended up being for the 10:30-10:45am time slot. (It might’ve been extra crowded since it was half-off for the first Thursday of the month)!
- We spent about an hour and a half inside the exhibition and it seemed like a great amount of time. The lines for each individual room were fairly short at this time of day!
- Try to go on a weekday if you can!
You can read more about planning your visit here on the SAM website.
There is also a fun gift shop in the exhibit… these postcards were each $1!
I loved Yayoi Kusama’s work… I really hope I’m able to see more of it in the future. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the exhibit!
Thanks so much for reading!
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