'21st Century: Art in the First Decade' is an exhibition, publication, blog and series of public programs at the Queensland Art Gallery l Gallery of Modern Art that explore the art of the past ten years. As an expanded platform for the exhibition, the '21st Century Blog' functions as a source book of reference material and contributions provided by artists, curators and writers. Read more


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Yayoi Kusama | Soul under the moon 2002 | Mirrors, ultra violet lights, water, plastic, nylon thread, timber, synthetic polymer paint | 340 x 712.1 x 600cm (installed) | The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. Purchased 2002 with funds from Michael Simcha Baevski and The Myer Foundation, a project of the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration 1899–1999, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and The Yayoi Kusama Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Appeal | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Yayoi Kusama ‘Soul under the moon’ 2002

Yayoi Kusama has worked as a painter, sculptor and environmental artist for the past 50 years. She moved to the United States in 1957 where she lived and worked in New York before returning to Tokyo in 1973. Kusama has developed a motif in her work known as the ‘infinity net’, which she explores through a variety of materials and forms. She traces this motif to her early childhood experiences, in which she ‘. . . was often troubled by a thin silk-like greyish-coloured veil that came to envelop [her] . . .’ Kusama uses images of nets, dots, repeated patterns and mirrors as ways of understanding and coming to terms with the vastness of life.

Soul under the moon 2002 explores reflection, repetition and infinity — themes central to Kusama’s practice — and is one of her ‘infinity’ mirror rooms, first produced in the 1960s. In many cultures, the mirror is an important symbolic, as well as functional, object. In Kusama’s mirror-room works, reflections are repeated to the point of disappearance, at which point the viewer may become confused and disoriented. The conventional purpose of a room is to contain and define a space; by contrast, Kusama’s rooms appear expansive and limitless. The experience of entering Soul under the moon is similar to gazing at a clear night sky full of stars: eventually, the sense of infinity is overwhelming and all-consuming.

Categories: Artist, Exhibition

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