I was recently invited to MFAH for a private viewing of Kusama Universe before it opened to the public, and I was truly amazed! This art installation is outstanding and I think it is one of those things that you have to come out and experience for yourself. The opening date started June 12 and will continue throughout until September 18, so you have plenty of time to see it before its over. We were able to experience this event on a Friday night, so it was really awesome to have the museum to ourselves and really take time to soak in the art.
The first room we entered was called the Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. There is a 2 person limit upon entering this installation because you walk forward onto a small platform that is surrounded by water. Brian and I literally just stood there in awe as we were surrounded by glowing lanterns. The lights turn off for a minute and then slowly they start lighting up at different intervals. It is absolutely beautiful...one time wasn't enough, we walked into this sensory challenging rooms several times before the night was over. The feeling you get while watching it is pretty magical, the pictures Brian captured of it were beautiful.
The second room is called Love is Calling. This room is bigger and allows more people to walk in at once. You hear a beautiful Japanese voice reciting poems as you walk around in between soft sculptures that change colors. There are beautiful fluorescent colors on each one of the sculptures and everything has this magical glow. Mirrors cover the entire room so you see yourself in many different angles surrounded by the soft sculptures. It gave me a very psychadelic vibe and reminded me of the Free Love movement of the 1960's. I came across a website called Art in America and the words of Kusama really resonated in my head.
From a wheelchair, sporting a bright pink bob and wearing a yellow-and-black dress boldly patterned with polka dots, 84-year-old Kusama spoke humbly and openly (through a translator) about her troubled past, her hopes for this work, her long-term self-commitment to a mental institution in Japan, and her future. "As I approach death, I'm still full of big hope that we all have the power to spread love and peace," she said. "Please help spread this message of love and world peace. If you can be happy with my artwork, if you can feel something from my work, there is nothing more joyous for me than that." Asked about the biomorphic shapes, faces and eyes that recur in the paintings, she said: "All parts of the body are proof of life. The eyes can discern peace and love and help us open to those things."
I love art, it really fascinates me. I think I'm always captivated to learn what inspired the artist to create the art. I started doing some reading on Yayoi Kusama before the MFAH afterhours event and I was blown away by how interesting her life is and all of the things that have inspired her creativity. Here is a link to just one of the articles I read about her...it gives you a brief overview of her career and the art she creates and a little bit of her background. I personally think it is very important to learn about the artist so that you can fully appreciate what they bring to life.
I want to thank MFAH for this wonderful opportunity and invitation. I also hope that you take some time out of your busy day this summer and treat yourself to this exhibit. Just a few seconds inside these installations and it will mentally transport you to another dimension and bring you an immense peace of mind and an overwhelming feeling of love.