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Enter the whimsical world of Yayoi Kusama at National Gallery Singapore this June

Polka-dotted everything. 

By Adam Kerr | Mar 10, 2017

  • Enter the whimsical world of Yayoi Kusama at National Gallery Singapore this June
    ©Yayoi Kusama, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, David Zwirner

You might have read last week that one of Yayoi Kusama's iconic polka-dot pumpkin sculpture (estimated to be worth £635,000) at an exhibition in Washington DC was partially destroyed when some visitor "lost his footing" and fell into the sculpture... while taking a selfie. No social media post is worth that much, so don’t be that person when National Gallery Singapore hosts a retrospective exhibition featuring the works of the renowned Japanese artist in June.

Although it’s not the first time we’ll be seeing the works of the inimitable artist in Singapore, but Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow, happening from Jun 9-Sep 3, is the first big-scale survey of her work in Southeast Asia. Why is this a big deal? The 88-year old is one of the world’s most influential avant-garde artists who’s played a pivotal part in art movements of our era, and have influenced and exhibited works alongside fellow contemporaries like Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal. It's widely known that she uses art as a mechanism to cope with her mental illness (she suffers from visual hallucinations and sees the world in polka dots). The exhibition, curated by the gallery’s Russell Storer and Adele Tan, will take you into Kusama’s artsy world through more than 120 paintings, sculptures, videos and installations spanning over seven decades—some of which has never been shown before. There’ll also be a complementary panel discussion about why her work is still relevant and important today, as well as a workshop that teaches marbling techniques inspired by the themes of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be showcased at National Gallery Singapore’s Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery (City Hall Wing, Level 3) from Jun 10-Sep 3. Entrance fees will be announced in the following months. Stay tuned here.

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