By Mutsumi Morita / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterA museum featuring the works of renowned avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, who gained worldwide fame through her use of motifs such as polka dots and pumpkins, opened Oct. 1 in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, with tickets already sold out for this year.
The Yayoi Kusama Museum offers tickets that are valid for 90-minute viewing sessions, with four time slots per day.
The 88-year-old Kusama has really grown in popularity in recent years. Among the multiple international exhibits she has had, her event held in Central and South America attracted the highest number of visitors in the world in 2014. Her exhibition that ran from February to May at The National Art Center, Tokyo, in Roppongi, Tokyo, drew about 520,000 visitors.
Amid such popularity, an increasing number of fans called for the opening of a facility where they could appreciate a large number of Kusama’s works in one setting. The building that houses the museum was once used for her staff to hold meetings with curators and officials from museums and galleries to select artwork to be exhibited.
Earlier this year, the artist established the Yayoi Kusama Foundation, which manages the facility. Of the building’s five stories aboveground and one story belowground, the museum devotes the second to fifth floors to exhibition space, and will rotate the items on display twice a year.
In celebration of her museum opening, an inaugural event titled "Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art" will run through Feb. 25.
The featured items include 16 works from her ongoing "My Eternal Soul" series, for which more than 530 pieces have been created, as well as 27 black-and-white drawings from the "Love Forever" series. Also available for viewing are Kusama’s spatial art works that feature mirrors and her polka-dot pumpkin-shaped installations.
Kusama described the opening of her museum as her "greatest excitement," adding, "I hope visitors will see and feel all the real efforts I’ve made for art throughout my life."
The Yayoi Kusama Museum is open Thursday through Sunday and national holidays, except during the New Year holiday. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets for admission in January will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Nov. 1. Visit yayoikusamamuseum.jp for details.