Seeing Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at the High Museum of Art

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

The High Museum of Art’s exhibit of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors is in its final weeks, and Kevin and I were lucky enough to have snatched up some coveted tickets to this sought-after art showing. 

Getting tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is hard. Anyone and everyone will tell you that.

Kevin and I bought our tickets months ago when they first went on sale in September. When we couldn’t get tickets the first day, Kevin set an alarm on his phone for the second day of ticket sales and was ready to jump into the virtual queue when sales opened up. He managed to score us tickets for dates near the end of the exhibits run. Tickets sold out just three days after going on sale online.

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

Born in Japan in 1929, Yayoi Kusama began experimenting with abstraction in earnest after her arrival in New York in 1957. Her signature pieces contain dot and net motifs, soft-sculpture pieces, and performance-based works. She created her first mirror piece, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field, in 1965, turning the repetition from her earlier works into a seemingly endless, infinite experience.

Experience Infinity Mirrors

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

The Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the High contains 7 rooms: 6 mirrored and 1 interactive. After waiting in line for tickets, and then waiting in line for your appointed entry time, you’ll then be waiting in line to enter each of the rooms. But the mirror rooms aren’t all there is to the exhibit. Also on display are Kusama’s soft sculptures, paintings, infinity nets, and videos. While you wait in line, you can also read about each infinity room piece and about Kusama’s life from her fear of phallic symbols to her anti-war performance art to her love of polka dots.

For rooms 1 through 6, you can view them in any order you want. Room 7 must be your final room and there is no re-entry. But for rooms 1 through 6, you can wander around and scope out the shorter lines to wait in. We hit all the infinity rooms first, getting our line-waiting out of the way, and then walked back through the exhibit looking closer at the paintings and soft sculptures.

Up to three people are allowed in each room at a time, which means you may be asked to go in with another group to keep the line moving. You’re allowed only 20-30 seconds in each room, also to keep the lines moving.

Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

This room is filled with dangling and flashing light bulbs. The multitude of lights expand exponentially.

Infinity Mirrored Room — Phalli’s Field

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

This was Kusama’s first mirrored room. In it, she attempts to address her fear and disgust of phallic objects by sewing together soft polka dotted tubes. When she grew tired of sewing, she had the idea to put them in a mirrored room, so she could be surrounded by infinite phallic tubes.

Infinity Mirrored Room — Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

This room resembles the Japanese tradition of toro nagashi, a ceremony where paper lanterns float down a river to guide spirits.

Infinity Mirrored Room — Love Forever

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

This is the only room you can’t enter. You look through a peep hole on one side while another person peeps in on another side. It’s like looking into a giant kaleidoscope while watching and being watched.

Infinity Mirrored Room — All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins

This room represents two things Kusama loves: polka dots and pumpkins. Photography is not allowed in this room, apparently because of a selfie-taker who damaged the installation earlier in the tour, and an attendant enters the room with you. Imagine yourself with a stranger in an endless field of orange pumpkins with black polka dots, and you’ll be there.

Dots Obsession — Love Transformed into Dots

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

This room is polka dotted with polka dot balls hanging from the ceiling. Try not to bump into them as you move around.

The Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

In this room, you’re handed a sheet of sticker dots and you can place them anywhere in the room. At the beginning of the exhibition, the room was pristine white, but now nearly every white space is covered in dots.

Cheers!

Paige

Were you able to score tickets to see Infinity Mirrors? Let me know in the comments!

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