Eight major collaborations and projects with contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama

Eight major collaborations and projects with contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama

Following Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s latest collaboration with fashion brand Louis Vuitton, we’ve rounded up eight projects and collaborations featuring her trademark colorful polka dots.

At nearly 94 years of age, Kusama is widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful living artists, with a portfolio ranging from installations, sculptures and performance art to fashion, painting and video.

For many years, she has put repetitive dots at the heart of her projects, which often refer to the hallucinations and visions she has experienced since her childhood.

From garments and design products to installations that have traveled the world, here are eight of Kusama’s key projects:

A large-scale sculpture of Yayoi Kusama imitates the act of painting in the Louis Vuitton decoration store
Kusama designed the interior of several Louis Vuitton stores. Photo courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton collaboration

Louis Vuitton celebrated the launch of a capsule collection designed with Kusama this month with various bold installations at Louis Vuitton stores around the globe, redecorated to reflect the artist’s signature black style.

An inflatable replica of Kusama was placed looking over the roof of a polka-dotted Champs-Élysées store in Paris, while a large-scale sculpture of the artist was placed next to oversized mirror balls at a pop-up outlet in Tokyo.

Kusama’s life-like animatronic robot was installed in a New York store window on Fifth Avenue, playfully painting her famous spots on the glass for onlookers to see.

Learn more about the latest Louis Vuitton collaboration ›

Yayoi Kusama's polka dot trees in New York
Photo by Robert Benson Photography

Kusama: Cosmic Nature

A park-wide display at the New York Botanical Garden featured trees wrapped in red and white spotty polyester, held tightly together by bungee cords and metal staples.

Dancing Pumpkin (main image) is an abstract-shaped bronze sculpture featuring black and yellow polka dots placed on a pavement to interact with visitors.

The artist also poured 1,400 mirrored steel balls into a pond, which is part of the Narcissus Garden – an ongoing project that began in 1966.

More information about Cosmic Nature ›

Spotty skateboards by Yayoi Kusama for MoMA
Photo courtesy of Yayoi Kusama

The Dots Skateboards

The artist applied her iconic spots to a series of hand-painted skateboards, which she sold at MoMA Design Store in New York in collaboration with the museum.

Available in two colors – red and white and black and yellow – Kusama painted the wooden decks on their undersides, alternating between small dots and larger dots for the designs.

More information about The Dots Skateboards ›

Yayoi Kusama plasters red dots across Philip Johnson's Glass House
Photo by Matthew Placek

Dots Obsession – Live, Seeking Eternal Hope

Architect Philip Johnson’s self-designed 1940s Glass House features a rectilinear structure and glass walls commonly associated with modern residences.

Kusama completed a month-long intervention at the home, which is now a museum and gallery. The artist stuck hundreds of red dots on the facade of the building, based on the idea that the project would allow visitors to “see the world through the eyes” of Kusama and Johnson at the same time.

An iteration of the Narcissus Garden was also installed on the site.

More information about Dots Obsession – Live, In Search of Eternal Hope ›

Yayoi Kusama's collaboration with Louis Vuitton in 2012
Image courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton collaboration

Giant perforated lamps were the backdrop for this concept store at Selfridges, which showcased Kusama and Louis Vuitton’s first clothing and accessory collection in 2012.

To design the collection, the fashion brand drew inspiration from the recent Tate Modern exhibition of Kusama’s work. Various bags and clothing, such as a plastic trench coat, were covered in colorful arrangements of the artist’s iconic polka dots.

Get find out more about the first collaboration with Louis Vuitton ›

Pumpkin sculpture on a pier by Yayoi Kusama
Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Pumpkin statue

Simply titled Pumpkin, this sculpture stood on a pier at the Benesse Art Site on Naoshima Island in Kusama’s native Japan, before being swept into the sea after a typhoon last August.

The black and yellow pumpkin with polka dots is widely considered one of the most recognizable works of art in the country. It was broken into pieces after the tropical storm and is currently being repaired.

Gambling 2018!  by Yayoi Kusama
The photo is by Pablo Enriquez

Narcissus Garden on the Rockaway Peninsula

In 2018, Kusama transported her Narcissus Garden project to a hurricane-damaged train garage on New York’s Rockaway Peninsula, where 1,500 mirror balls created a dramatic installation.

The orb-like sculptures contrasted with the abandoned site, which was left in ruins and then suffered further deterioration after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Get Learn more about the Narcissus Garden on the Rockaway Peninsula ›

Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Rooms
Image courtesy of The Broad

Infinity Mirror Rooms

Like Narcissus Garden, the artist’s Infinity Mirror Rooms by Kusama is an interactive project with various iterations installed in locations around the world, including The Broad in Los Angeles.

The Rooms are small boxes with mirrors on each side that extend to the floors and ceilings, reflecting hundreds of LED lights to create a visual illusion.

On display at The Broad, the museum imposed a 30-second “selfie rule” on visitors to avoid people spending too long taking photos of the installation and creating queues.

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