Going into Infinity with Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama. A name you may or may not be familiar with, if not we suggest to look her up! She is one of the hottest tickets in contemporary art– her immersive exhibitions (featuring her Infinity Mirror Rooms) are selling out, drawing huge crowds, and receiving critical as well as public praise. Between the members of our collective, we’ve had the opportunity to visit two of Kusama’s exhibitions: her installation at the Broad Museum in LA, and her current show at the SAM in Seattle– the results are in and we are in love!
A highlight of these shows are the Infinity Mirror Rooms; they are approximately 9′ x 9′ and covered with mirror panels on the interior. Each room has a specific theme and is filled with lights and sculptures that form a landscape that is reflected multiple times over and seems to stretch on into forever. It is an incredible experience and we highly recommend a visit! As we work with interiors all the time, seeing a space transformed in this way has inspired us to look at mirrors in a new way.
“I Kusama have opened up a world of fantasy and freedom”
Yayoi Kusama creates beautiful worlds within these rooms using mirrors. In interior design, mirrors are often used as a practical surface in powder rooms and bedrooms so we can glance at ourselves before heading out or decide what to wear to work. They are also the best material to create an illusion of space– this more artistic application is what Kusama takes to the next level.
While it would be a total luxury to install a Kusama-esque space at home (imagine the fun!) it may not be the most practical feature (probably hours worth of windex-ing fingerprints…). Mirrors can sometimes be limited to use in bathrooms, vanities, or as strategically placed rectangles to create the illusion of more space. But what’s the fun in always being so ordinary? The wonderful thing about artists is that they don’t play by the rules and often “practical” does not exist in their vocabulary… but there has to be a happy medium right? How can we scale down Kusama’s fantastic rooms and play with mirrors in our own spaces? We decided to go on the hunt and gather a few options for ways to include mirrors in your next design project and use these reflective surfaces in a modern way– from accessories to walls, mirrors are taking over design!
Is your next project looking a little shinier? Maybe a bit more reflective? We love the fresh take on mirrors inspired by Kusama’s work. The first time she installed one of these spaces was in the 1990s, so the design world is still catching up to her inventiveness. If you have a chance to see these rooms in person (as well as her sculptures, paintings, and other installations) the exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum runs until September 10, 2017 and makes it’s only Canadian stop at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 3 – May 27, 2018.
In addition to Kusama’s mirrors she puts together otherworldly patterns, sculptures, colour combinations, and concepts. Her work has a fantastic variety of materials and forms and we loved looking at it all! Inspiration comes from everywhere– even extravagant and ambitious design ideas can be scaled down to fit in your home! Have you ever adapted something to fit your home? Do you love a concept but are stuck in how to apply it in your space? We’d love to hear about it!
Happy inspiration hunting!