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Going into Infinity with Yayoi Kusama -
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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.


A peek into Kusama’s room called “All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins”. Photo from the Victoria Miro Gallery Website


“I Kusama have opened up a world of fantasy and freedom”


Another fantastic room– this one is called “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity”. Photo from the Hirshhorn Website.


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.


It just keeps going… This room is called “Phalli’s Field” and includes dozens of Kusama’s soft sculptures. Photo from the Seattle Weekly website.


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!


Easy on the eyes: These mirrored trays from West Elm are a simple way to dip your toes into mirrored surfaces. Easy to add to any space! More details here.


Feeling more bold? This Lucite/Mirror desk from ModShop has a subtle presence but major style points. More details here.


Mirror mirror on the wall… Make that mirrors on the wall! The Perspective Mirror from CB2 can be used as a stand-alone 24″ x 24″ feature, or multiplied for a bolder statement. More details here.



Don’t be shy… A large mirror (or in this example found on the Decoist, an entire wall) reflects light and space, creating an optical illusion that stretches space. More examples can be found here.


Want to take things outside? Mirrored architecture will definitely make a statement! The Mirror House in Copenhagen Central Park is a fantastic edition to this outdoor space. Read more about it here.


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.


Photo of an installation called “The Obliteration Room” from the SAM website (see exhibition details here)

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!

Designers Collective


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