Yayoi Kusama

Lake made his first foray to the Seattle Art Museum today. Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit was the big draw. We took the Link and arrived right at 9:00 am to wait in line for the day’s admission tickets to be released at 10:00 am. While we were in line we made some friends and were blessed by a Buddhist monk with one leg. 

It worked out: we got the tickets and for a good time as well, 10:45, so we didn’t have long to wait. We met up with some friends (happy birthday Cami!) and went in to explore the art together.

We stand in smaller lines for time-stopping 20-30-second-immersions in each of her mirrored rooms installed here in the gallery. She first developed this concept phenomenon in 1965 with Infinity Mirrored Room–Phalli’s Field. 

Although there is no particular order to explore the exhibit. This was also the first one we went into. It kind of felt like going into the dressing room together with your friends at the mall. 

Lake’s favorite installation was the Infinity Mirrored Room–Love Forever (1966/1994)

Inside looking out.

It’s the one where you peek in the little viewing window. You can stay for as long as you date for this one. It was like being on an old fashioned carousel, except you stayed in one place and the light colors and patterns kept changing. Like looking into a real livekaleidoscope with technicolor lights.  

He also started warming up to the experience and had more and more fun in the next two. Polka-dot mania! Literally: Dots Obsession–Love Transformed into Dots, 2007, installed 2017. 

For our finalé we enjoyed the white “blank canvas” IKEA kitchen and studio apartment installation, all set up for adding dots: The Obliteration Room, 2002-present, installed 2017.

Although Lake liked removing the dots. Yet, as it turns out that’s not accepted interactive experience. Only adding dots. And only one sheet per group. And one must surrender the sticker sheet backing as you leave the room. Other than all that, we felt right at home in our super dotty studio apartment. Lake was especially attracted to the bicycle helmet. 

My absolute favorite was the Infinity Mirrored Room–Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. There is no picture because I was too mesmerized! At one point all the lights went out and it was completely dark. Then what equates to a million or more soft candlelight- type hanging lights came slowly back on. Amazingly beautiful. You might just have to see it for yourself!

Mr. Silky (friendly) contemplates Eternity and the thereafter

The AOE was like being in a field of fireflies according to Chip and Betsy from Boise. That’s something I haven’t experienced (yet), definitely one for the Bucket List. I would liken it to an impromptu installation my Dad made for us once or twice when we were young. 

Clear summer night in Quinault where the stars are so bright, you can see the whole Milky Way. Then Duane takes a shovel and spreads the coals from the fire and spreads them on the rocks of the nearby river bar. We walk on the river rocks interlaced with twinkling embers while the stars hang near overhead. 

Thank you Yayoi, for rekindling that memory and giving Lake some new neurons!