Arts / Peering into a world of endless reflection

Yayoi Kusama’s “The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into Heaven,” 2015, installation view at Museum MACAN, Jakarta, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/ Singapore/ Shanghai

“THE Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens” is an “infinity room” created by influential Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama and it will soon be seen at the National Gallery.

Eighty-eight-year-old Kusama is perhaps best known worldwide for the use of polka dots in her work and this work is no exception, enticing visitors to peer into a world of endless reflection as distorted yellow pumpkins with black dots are reflected in the mirrors.

Kusama once said: “Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos.” As well, the form of the pumpkin is believed to reflect her own childhood.

“The NGA’s commitment to establishing an exemplary collection of contemporary art continues to be a priority,” said NGA director Gerard Vaughan, praising art philanthropists Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett, who made the acquisition of the work possible through the Japanese Art Fund. “This visionary and generous gift allows this artwork to become a major destination at Australia’s National Gallery,” Dr Vaughan added.

“It has long-been my ambition to see a major contemporary Japanese artwork housed in Australia’s national collection,” Mr Gwinnett says,  “Kusama’s playful installation is a legacy that will keep giving for generations to come.”

The installation will be on display from December.

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