Last year the exhibit everyone was talking about was Yayoi Kusama at the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM). As the exhibition will soon move to other pastures, I had to make a point of going to see it one evening.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. In the end I was pleasantly surprised, as the display of Kusama’s work was both strange and cool at the same time.
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who lives in a psychiatric hospital. Yes, you heard right! And the weirdest thing about it is that she checked herself into the facility.
Kusama has had hallucinations since her childhood – one recurring subject has been pumpkins. There were several pumpkin-themed works at the exhibit.
This was taken in the large installation – Mirror Room. There was a small opening through which you could see a sea of pumpkins.
My favourite was the Infinity Mirrored Room – Hymn of Life. Kusama is famous for her polka dots.
The path going through the installation had water on both sides of it, so you had to mind your step as not to end up in the water.
Downstairs, in Tennispalatsi, near the back entrance, I found the room below – The Obliteration Room. It was totally white at first but visitors have been encouraged to add colorful polka-dot stickers onto the furniture, floor and walls of the room – an interactive, slowly changing installation.
Last but not least, I had a look at the Tove Jansson exhibit. Tove Jansson is the creator of the Moomins. I love the fresco below – Party in the City. This photo is quite small but if you strain your eyes, you might be able to spot a Moomin in it too.
Unfortunately Yayoi Kusama’s In Infinity ends on the 22nd January but there’s still a few days left to catch it if you’re in Finland. I highly recommend it, as it’s a good distraction from everyday life.
Did you have a chance to catch Kusama’s exhibition at the HAM? If not, have you seen her work somewhere else ever before?