Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow. Last week, one of the most anticipated exhibitions of renowned Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, arrived in Indonesia. Held in Museum Macan until September 2018.
Named Life is the Heart of a Rainbow, the exhibition displayed more than 130 pieces in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Nusantara (Museum MACAN) making this one of the most extensive showcases of Yayoi’s 70 years of artistic journey.
Throughout the exhibition hall, visitors experience the recurring themes of Yayoi Kusama’s works, which are vibrant colors in the form of dots, orbs, and nets. The intimate narrative of her life stories her journey as an artist is reflected in her famous oeuvres that are paintings, sculptures, installations and performing arts.
The exhibition consists Yayoi Kusama’s vast body of work including Dots Obsession (2013/2016), polished spherical orbs of Narcissus Garden (1966/2018), A room-full of one of Yayoi’s obsessions, pumpkins, in the THE SPIRIT OF THE PUMPKIN DESCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS (2015) and the most talked and snapped The Obliteration Room (2002 – ongoing). The interactive installations are some of the most anticipated of them all, taking visitors to longer queues during the weekends.
As we revel in Yayoi Kusama’s vibrant pieces, dazzling colors and signature polka-dotted pumpkins, it’s safe to say her personal life story has given so much life to her artistic journey. Unfortunate occurrences of trauma, sickness, heartbreak and longing have shaped Yayoi and pushed her making her one of the pioneers of pop art and minimalism. Her long history of mental health has played a dominant role throughout her career, giving the artwork a sense of poignancy and belonging, that is her life. Although it may not resonate so much to us as visitors, Yayoi’s personal life may have created a dialogue of art that breathes life – via her obsession for dots, pumpkins and intricate details – a whole new meaning and purpose.
Museum MACAN’s debut hosting prominent artist will open new windows of opportunities for more international artists to become a part of the growth and sharing knowledge of art in Indonesia. Although it may seem so, the urgency to further educate Indonesians and primarily museum visitors must become a priority. Only a week of its debut, posts of audience grievance and lack of museum etiquette have inundated social media, where artworks displayed are not treated with respected and manner. The reality poses the question as to whether or not Indonesian visitors are ready to experience such a rich and extensive exhibition. Yayoi Kusama’s artworks may be colorful and vibrant but this thought should not leave room for visitors to take advantage of embracing ‘selfies’ that compromises the pieces.
Having been exhibited in National Gallery Singapore in Singapore and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia, this exhibition in Indonesia will be final stop of the survey exhibition and thus, the last chance for regional and global visitors to experience the essence of Yayoi Kusama’s art forms.
Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow takes place on 12th May until 9th September 2018 at Museum MACAN. Ticket can be purchased in: https://ticket.museummacan.org/KUSAMAJKT.