Out & About: Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart of a Rainbow

If you've not heard of it, you'd probably have seen pictures of it flooding your Instagram and Facebook feed. Posts after posts of those iconic polka-dot motif in (among other colours) yellow and black. Yes, the Yayoi Kusama exhibition has finally hit Singapore.

One of the world's most influential artists, the Japanese creative is known for pumpkins, nets, infinity room and, of course, dots that fill her art work and structures. For its Singapore debut, the exhibition is held at the National Gallery Singapore, and showcases Kusama's expansive creative vision.

Featuring over 120 works across media, YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow, as described by the NGS, offers an "unprecedented opportunity to explore an extraordinary artistic journey across seven decades". 

The exhibition, which kicks off with paintings from 1950s, traces the evolution of her key motifs as well as he exploration of the use of colour, form and space. 

Now, nevermind that you’ve probably seen almost all of the Yayoi Kusama's installations at the National Gallery thanks to Instagram, but it’s still worth making a trip down for this comprehensive exhibition of her works.

Here, we pick the three must-sees that won’t be crowded with people clamouring for a photo op, but definitely worth a few good minutes taking a closer look.

** please note pictures may not be the same as at NGS

1. Statue of Venus Obliterated by Infinity Nets

See the iconic Venus de Milo statue reimagined and obliterated by Kusama by painting her signature Infinity Nets all over, it’s an enthralling piece that is hypnotising and arresting at the same time. 

2. Love Forever

pic credit: ChannelNewsAsia

pic credit: ChannelNewsAsia

An entire body of work created by Kusama from 2004-2007 with 50 silkscreened canvases. With everything in black and white, it’s a contrast from the arresting colours in the rest of the rooms. Situated in the centre of the exhibition, is also another installation piece I Want to love on the Festival Night, where you won’t have to jostle with other people to see her mirrored work. This work was specially created for the exhibition, so it’s not to be missed!

3. Infinity Mirrored Room - Gleaming Lights of the Souls


If you must queue up to enter any of the rooms, it’s this. The gallery staff will gently warn you that you only have 20 seconds in the room and to prepare your camera beforehand but it’s worth it. Try to put your phone away and resist snapping pics and enjoy this room to the fullest because the kaleidoscopic effect triggers a sensory overload, it’s an experience that is hard to take in in 20 seconds along with trying to get your photograph for Instagram. It’s dazzling and breathtaking, and yes we did visualise infinity in that short span of time. 

And there you go. If you've gone for the exhibition, share with us your favourite spaces and other not-to-be-missed spots! We'd like to hear from you in the comments below.