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Yayoi Kusama Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity

Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, first floor

Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, born 1929) was living in New York when she created her first Infinity Room in 1965. Engaging the viewer directly, through reflections that project into an infinite distance, these installations combine aspects of Minimalism’s clean use of industrial materials with ritual and performance. Kusama returned to Japan in 1970, and subsequent works became increasingly personal. She marked her 80th birthday with Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, which references the annual Buddhist Tōrō nagashi (Water Lantern) ceremony honoring one’s ancestors.

When you visit this installation, you are invited to step into the room and stand on the central platform. Over time, a delicate, shimmering mirage unfolds, as lights ignite and are mirrored on every surface. In less than a minute, however, all light disappears—and then the cycle starts anew.

“In the human world, what arouses our body and feeling of vitality is Eternity. I have been living in this Eternity, where enormous love for humanity passes through and the vast brilliance of life is infinitely reflected. . . . We keep flashing, disappearing, and again blossoming out in this Eternity.” —Yayoi Kusama

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