YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow to feature over 120 works spanning 70 years of Kusama’s artistic practice
6 June 2017 – National Gallery Singapore today unveiled internationally-acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama’s first major survey in Southeast Asia. Titled YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow, the exhibition will feature over 120 works, including new, never-before-seen, pieces. It will offer an unprecedented opportunity to explore the creative journey of one of the world’s most widely recognised artists.
The Gallery’s highly anticipated exhibition follows well-received Yayoi Kusama shows in both Washington D.C. and Tokyo, and will include signature pieces, such as her infinity net paintings and infinity mirror rooms. Her most recent works – a cluster of soft sculptures and several paintings from her ‘My Eternal Soul’ series (2009–ongoing), including the exhibition’s titular painting Life is the Heart of a Rainbow – will also be on display for the first time. In addition, Kusama’s mirrored peep room, I WANT TO LOVE ON THE FESTIVAL NIGHT, which has been specially created for the Gallery, will be featured alongside rarely seen works from private and public collections.
“We are pleased to be presenting the works of Yayoi Kusama for the first time at National Gallery Singapore. The remarkable work and life of Yayoi Kusama has entranced millions across the globe and her signature motifs of dots, nets and pumpkins have entered the popular imagination. The exhibition, which will feature seven decades of her unrelenting artistic production is a key part of the Gallery’s mission to feature major artists and artistic developments from the 19th century until today. We see Kusama’s work as a powerful introduction to important modern art movements and methods such as Surrealism, Pop, Minimalism, Performance and Conceptual art.” said Dr Eugene Tan, Director, National Gallery Singapore. “By presenting a wide range of works across the artist’s long career, we hope that audiences in Singapore and Southeast Asia will gain a new appreciation of an artist who now has a firm place in the global and regional art history, and is widely considered an iconic figure in popular culture.”
YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow takes a specific perspective on Kusama’s vast body of work, where visitors can discover the development of her iconic themes and trace their formal and conceptual interconnections through her seven-decade long career. Works on display range across different media from paintings, sculptures, collages and video to large-scale installations.
“Kusama's world is complex: full of colour and powerful symbolism. In each of her works you are transported into a universe that is deeply intimate as well as potentially boundless. We hope that the exhibition will draw visitors to the visual impact and virtuosity of Kusama’s works as well as convey the development of her style and motifs, and their personal, artistic and social context.” said Russell Storer, Deputy Director, Curatorial & Collections, National Gallery Singapore.
The exhibition culminates in a series of spectacular installations in the Gallery’s public spaces, such as the historical City Hall Chamber, extending the experience beyond the exhibition galleries.
Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO, said, “We are pleased to support the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery. This influential Asian artist’s creative vision has inspired people all over the world, showing that art transcends boundaries. Her art brings people together in the way we, as Asia’s leading communications group, connect over 600 million of our customers across the region every day. We hope visitors will enjoy Kusama's stunning artworks in her first major museum exhibition in Southeast Asia. We've lent further support to the exhibition by decorating our
Comcentre at Killiney Road and selected retail stores with her trademark polka dots. We hope our staff, partners and customers also get into the spirit of Kusama, and, by extension, art!”
Singapore Tourism Board’s Executive Director for Arts, Entertainment and Tourism Concept Development, Ms Carrie Kwik said, “We are pleased to be the first Southeast Asian country to host a major survey of Yayoi Kusama’s works and we hope to see strong interest from our regional visitors. The wide range of enriching programmes and interactive activities is expected to attract arts enthusiasts, Singaporeans and visitors. The exhibition also reinforces Singapore's standing as a key host city in the region for showcasing seminal works by leading global artists, and accentuates our appeal as a cultural and lifestyle destination for art lovers.”
The exhibition is a collaboration between National Gallery Singapore and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, Australia. The exhibition is co-curated by Russell Storer and Adele Tan of the Gallery and Reuben Keehan of QAGOMA. The show will travel to QAGOMA in November 2017 after its presentation in Singapore.
YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow will run from 9 June to 3 September 2017 at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery and City Hall Chamber, Level 3, City Hall Wing.
More information can be found in the following annexes:
Annex A – Exhibition highlights and the accompanying catalogue
Annex B – Exhibition ticketing
Annex C – Complementary programmes and activities
Annex D – Exhibition merchandise
Annex E – Kusama-inspired food and beverage by the Gallery’s partners and tenants
For more details about the exhibition, visit www.nationalgallery.sg/YAYOI-KUSAMA.