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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Yoyoi Kusama Museum Newly Opens

草間弥生美術館美術館

Yayoi Kusama is one of Japan's - indeed, one of the world's - most famous artists. She is best known for what she calls "infinity nets," which are polka dot patterns, often in vivid colors, and which stream with hypnotic but never monotonous repetitiveness into what really does feel like infinity. Yayoi Kusama says that they are inspired by the patterns she has been seeing in her head since childhood.

Entering infinity, the Yayoi Kusama Museum, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Entering infinity: the Yayoi Kusama Museum, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Yayoi Kusama fans have just gotten a huge new dose of the now 88-year-old artist's worldview with the opening this Sunday past of the Yayoi Kusama Museum in Bentencho, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo.

My partner and I cycled there on Sunday to check it out. We knew we wouldn't be able to get in, because reservations to the museum are online-only, and have to be made weeks in advance if you're to get even a slim chance of procuring a coveted ticket.

Newly opened Yayoi Kusama Museum in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.
Fans of different generations at the newly opened Yayoi Kusama Museum
But it was a nice cool fall day, with patches of sunlight breaking through the high, light cloud - great for a cycle to Shinjuku, particularly because we'd never been to the Bentencho district of the ward before.

We quickly worked out why we'd never been to Bentencho before - it's a drab, ugly dump of a district, so much so that it doesn't real feel typical of Tokyo, but more like a forgotten suburb of an industrial satellite town.

But we quickly located the new museum - a gleaming white, 5-story tower with the artist's signature polka dots adorning the facade.

Powerline-covered Yayoi Kusama Museum, Bentencho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
The powerline-shrouded Yayoi Kusama Museum on its first day - before I dealt with it in Photoshop.
I took a few snaps, and my partner went inside to get a flyer. The building itself is criss-crossed with a mass of power lines and has a huge complicated-looking power pole planted right in front of it, considerably detracting from the building's attractiveness; so, I set aside an hour today to Photoshop it and produce an acceptably uncluttered version of the scene for the main Yayoi Kusama Museum page on JapanVisitor.com. Go there and judge my Photoshop skills (but keep in mind that I did set a time limit!)

Flyer for Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art exhibition at the Yayoi Kusama Museum, Tokyo.
Flyer for Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art exhibition, Yayoi Kusama Museum, Tokyo.

My partner told me that just going in through the door doesn't reveal anything of the inside, so I didn't bother. We intend to try getting in in January, by making a booking as soon as online booking opens on November 1. Competition will be fierce, so sitting at the computer trying and trying to get through will be a challenge, but if we succeed there'll be another post next year documenting our Yayoi Kusama Museum journey into the dotty infinite!

Yayoi Kusama Museum from the side, Bentencho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.
Side view of the Yayoi Kusama Museum, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo

© JapanVisitor.com

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