In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Dancing Lights That Flew Up To The Universe. Born in Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929, Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular living contemporary artists in the world today. Over the past seven decades, she has created painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, and film, as well as performance, fashion, design, literature, and immersive installations such as her celebrated Infinity Mirrored Rooms. Bolstered by social media and the artist’s acclaim, these works have drawn massive audiences globally over the last ten years. However, beyond the intensive publicity surrounding the installations, Kusama’s practice has consistently engaged with the vastness of the cosmic realm and her – as well as our – place within it: a concept imbued with both disquiet and wonder.
This exhibition will introduce visitors to the spiritual and philosophical depth of the artist’s work. Since her early forays into painting, sculpture, and performance, Kusama has long explored the conceptual and formal aspects of phenomenology and immersion in her work. At a time when the digital and virtual have overwhelmed our sensibilities, Kusama’s environments proffer analog experiences that both situate viewers within and beyond our universes. The exhibition in Montréal will present three of her signature bronze pumpkin sculptures in different sizes, two new peep-in mirrored rooms, a grid of her vibrant My Eternal Soul paintings, as well as two striking Infinity Mirrored Rooms. Infinity Mirrored Room – Dancing Lights That Flew Up To The Universe (2019), from which the show takes its title, is filled with hanging light globes that alternate colors before abruptly going dark. The viewer is absorbed into darkness for a moment before the glowing spheres slowly flicker back on, initiating again a cycle akin to life and rebirth.
With special thanks to Yayoi Kusama and the team at David Zwirner and Ota Fine Arts.