EVERY DAY I PRAY FOR LOVE

EVERY DAY I PRAY FOR LOVE

EVERY DAY I PRAY FOR LOVE

Take a look inside the Yayoi Kasama exhibit in NYC that attracts over two-hour lines

CHLOE XIANG

Our perception of art is altered by media. It’s easy to become biased and gain predispositions before seeing an art exhibit when we have seen images from that exhibit all over our feeds and timelines. It almost feels unnecessary to go see the works in real life when our initial reactions might be desensitized by the faux-familiarity of having seen it through other people’s feeds. There is an exception to this phenomenon, though. While Yayoi Kusama’s works have been popularized through social media posts, this ninety-year-old contemporary Japanese artist takes advantage of media’s reproducibility of art, rather than allowing it to replace her art.

Yayoi KasamaIMAGE CREDIT: BOBBLEHAUS / CHLOE XIANG

Yayoi Kusama works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also experienced in painting, performance, and fashion. Kusama’s most iconic piece of installation art is her infinity mirrored rooms, which are rooms covered in mirrors and flashing lights that allow visitors to be reflected by and interact with the art. The widespread sharing of that mirrored reflection on social media has attracted great public attention. However, through social media, viewers are only exposed to the experience of the room and not given the experience of the room— which is the crucial distinction that makes Kusama’s exhibits so sought after.  With people lining up for up to two hours in thirty-degree New York City weather waiting to enter the infinity mirrored room, Kusama reveals the power in creating interactive art that can be easily shared on modern media. 

Yayoi KasamaIMAGE CREDIT: BOBBLEHAUS / CHLOE XIANG

“Every Day I Pray For Love” is Kasama’s latest exhibition, featured at the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan. The exhibition is on display from November 9 through December 12, during which the public is free to experience the two levels dedicated to Kasama’s work. “Every Day I Pray For Love” is an exploration of love, beauty, hope, and eternity through Kusama’s personalized universe of paintings, sculptures, and installation art. The infinity mirrored room featured in this exhibition is titled “Dancing Lights That Flew Up to The Universe” and allows visitors to see themselves reflected amongst seemingly millions of lit up balls, changing from red to white in a progression of illuminance—with the room going from dark to eventually all of the balls being lit. This room gives visitors an unending feeling, with no concept of the ceiling versus the ground, as the visitors are enclosed by sparkling spheres. 

Yayoi KasamaIMAGE CREDIT: BOBBLEHAUS / CHLOE XIANG

The paintings featured in “Every Day I Pray For Love” belong to Kusama’s series called “My Eternal Soul” and continue to form Kusama’s universe of eternity. Displayed on a horizontal wall are square paintings in a tiled format, each painting exuding her childish, colorful style with geometric and linear patterns. The titles of the paintings, such as Crowd of Visionary Souls Living in the Universe and Millions of Hopes for Love, allow viewers to see the abstract meanings behind each piece, established through the emotional reactions we associate with different colors and lines.  

In front of these paintings are reflective sculptures titled Clouds. Not only are we reflected in the infinity mirrored room, but we can also see ourselves showcased through the organic cloud forms on the floor of the gallery, accompanied by the paintings above us. The motif of reflection in Kusama’s work represents connection. We are connected to the art by being a physical part of it, while the art is connected to and reliant on each other to produce an effect— distinct from the effects of observing the pieces on their own. Stepping away from the art, into the doorway of the gallery, you can see the Kusama universe unfold as a landscape before your eyes— with Clouds and the sky of rainbow paintings above it. 

We are connected to the art by being a physical part of it, while the art is connected to and reliant on each other to produce an effect— distinct from the effects of observing the pieces on their own. 

Yayoi KasamaIMAGE CREDIT: BOBBLEHAUS / CHLOE XIANG

While Kusama’s work may start off as a trend seen on social media, with the hashtag #infinityroom on Instagram featuring almost 80k posts, the popularity behind this room is only understood when standing in the mirrored room, amongst the endless, glittering lights. Or as you look down, seeing yourself reflected in a mass of silver clouds, giving you a new perspective of your relationship to the paintings behind you. Kusama’s interactive art in this modern, social media-driven era redefines art and the artistic experience.  

Yayoi KasamaIMAGE CREDIT: BOBBLEHAUS/ CHLOE XIANG

1 comment


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