Yayoi Kusama: Where the Lights in My Heart Go

Pollack Family Terrace

For nearly seventy years, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has focused on themes of eternity, the sublime, and the cosmos. Her paintings, sculptures, performances, and installations are characterized by an obsessive application of patterns—particularly polka dots—inspired by vivid childhood hallucinations that blended her perception of herself and the world around her. She imagines that by covering objects with this repetitive dot motif, they will “self-obliterate and return to the nature of the universe.” Kusama began her renowned Infinity Mirror Rooms series in the early 1960s. These immersive environments use mirrors to create the dizzying effect of an expansive, never-ending space.

This summer and fall, one of Kusama’s acclaimed Infinity Mirror Rooms will be installed outdoors at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, marking the first time one of these enchanting artworks has been shown in the Boston area. Where the Lights in My Heart Go (2016) is a ten-by-ten-foot polished stainless steel chamber with a mirrored interior. Small holes in the walls and ceiling allow natural light to penetrate the darkened room. Multiplied by the reflective surfaces, these pinpricks of glowing light create a celestial experience when visitors step inside. Kusama calls the work a “subtle planetarium,” an intimate and enclosed space that also gives the illusion of a continuously expanding universe.

Support for this special presentation is generously provided by Lauren and Derek Goodman, James and Sabra Alden, Nina and David Fialkow, Kumi and Bill Martin, Andrei Soran, and Marc and Charlotte Zawel.

Yayoi Kusama, Where the Lights in My Heart Go, 2016, mirror polished stainless steel with glass mirror, 118 1/8 x 118 1/8 x 118 1/8 inches, Collection of Lauren and Derek Goodman, Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice, © Yayoi Kusama. Installation view at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA. Photograph by Clements Photography and Design, Boston.