But not so fast. In fact, what seemed to be a wild fancy has turned out to be true. A current exhibition by Kusama Yayoi provides the same excitement that Alice must have felt in Wonderland, displaying rooms with colorful polka dots and a hallway furnished with countless convex mirrors. The exhibition will run until May 11 in the Artsonje Center.
Kusama was born in Japan in 1929, and moved to the U.S. in the late 1950s in search of her idol, Georgia O"K eefe. There, she encountered avant-garde art, joining the avant-garde movement in the 1960s. That period marked the most prolific years in her career. Kusama"s imagination matured through interactions with her contemporaries Andy Warhol and Frank Stella, also prominent artists of the 20th century.
After some years in New York, she went back to Japan to check herself into a mental hospital as her illness worsened, and has been living there for over 40 years. Despite living in a mental hospital, however, her passion for art has not died out. And now, ten of her most praised works, including "Narcissus Garden" and "Fireflies on the Water" are being shown in her first Korean exhibition named "Yayoi Kusama".
The viewer is overwhelmed by a sense of disorientation as she is faced with multitude of polka dots and convex mirrors that are affixed to the walls of the gallery. Kusama believes that polka dots represent a symbolic motif that has inspired her since childhood.
"I"m Here But Nothing" is a room where visitors experience the frenzy of a manic mind inside the dimly lit space. When you see yourself in the mirror in this room, you will end up seeing a horrifying creature with green eyes and teeth.
"Fireflies on the Water," is an arresting work set in an isolated room. With water on the bottom and Plexiglas on the wall, over 100 colorful lights are reflected in a miraculous way. Standing on a narrow platform on the water, one can feel desolation and fascination at a same time.
"The gallery seemed as if it would explode by her energy. It is so amazing that she can produce such works at such an old age," says Park Mi-sun, a visitor to the exhibition.
It has been 40 years since Kusama first impressed the world with her mania for applying phallic protuberances to furniture, clothes and other objects. Now at the age of 74, standing smaller than five feet, she is still electrifying the world with her amazing youthfulness and passion.