Queen of the polka dots

February 9th, 2012

On tuesday I went to the press viewing of the brilliant new Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern. Showing over six decades of Kusama’s works across 14 rooms, there is a sampling of everything from painting, sculpture and collage to film and installation.

The standout rooms are definitely the “environments” I’m Here, but Nothing (a small furnished room covered in hundreds of glowing stickers under a black light) and the aptly named Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of life. At the risk of sounding incredibly overdramatic – it was beautiful, magical and made me feel like I wanted to have a small joyful cry. The photos and the short shaky video below don’t come close to showing how epic it is and I can’t seem to describe how it felt without making it sound like something from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. So if you can, go and experience it for yourself. The whole exhibition gives an excellent overview of Kusama’s prolific body of work and is definitely worth a visit (though if you have cluster phobia then you might want to take room 10 at some speed and with eyes averted!)

The exhibition opens today and runs until the 5th of June.

Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern from Kris Atomic on Vimeo.

(photos/video/ illustration by me)



  1. What a nice and glittery atmosphere!..


  2. Michelle says:

    This looks amazing! Especially the room in the last few photographs.


  3. What an amazing exhibit… wish i could go!


  4. Libby says:

    This sounds incredible. I’m going to London in half term and will have to go to the Tate now.


  5. Catherine says:

    So beautiful. I love artists who master so many mediums, it’s so interesting to see their style carry over into various forms. I wish I were within reasonable distance of the tate; this exhibit looks so incredible. But your photos have captured it v nicely! The video is so cool, I didn’t even realize there were people standing against the lights until a few seconds in!


  6. Zane says:

    wow that last room is beyond gorgeous


  7. Inês says:

    I’m having the urge of booking a flight to London just to see that exhibition (and run to the Mirrored Room!).


  8. Natalie says:

    WOW!!! i would love to check that out in person.


  9. mini says:

    oh my god, I love her! ugh now I have to get to london till the summer!
    her way with polka dots is unmatched.


  10. Akua says:

    I when to this in Paris in November, it’s a fabulous exhibition. The light room at the end is hypnotising, I could have spent hours in there!


  11. Teresa says:

    I wish I could be in London to see this! Yayoi Kusama is brilliant!
    Thanks so much for the glimpse.


  12. Amazing… in particular, the silver flower dress. I love this.


  13. […] però è in corso una mostra al Tate Modern Museum di Londra che Krisatomic ci racconta attraverso le foto di cui vi proponiamo una selezione e che ne tracciano un profilo al tempo stesso molto preciso, […]

  14. mat says:

    looks like a very varied exhibition, really cool looking


  15. Emma says:


    Firstly, thank you for your inspiring and beautiful blog! It is one of my favourite moments of the week when you’ve updated with some new eye candy. :)

    I am certainly going to this exhibition as soon as I can get to London! Not only does it seem quite magical, but I also as inspiration for a current project I am working on. It is called ‘camera obscura’, which involved designing 3 spaces for photo exhibitions – an archive within a listed building, a street and a new gallery. Basically a time line/time capsule from the past, through the current, to the future.

    I therefore wanted to please ask you if you know any more (past) photo/installation exhibitions that had interesting rooms/layouts/interactive elements/play with light/general display? Or perhaps you know any good websites/books/exhibition catalogs that look at the overall set up, rather than purely the content of exhibitions?

    Take care! Love, Emma


  16. Sarah says:

    I adore Yayoi Kasuma. I am so excited about seeing this exhibition!!! Looks like an amazing retrospective.
    Nice photos. Love the self-portrait in the lights!


  17. Lindsay says:

    Wow, I really admire how you were able to really capture the colors and experiences of the exhibit. Wish I lived in the UK! Thanks for sharing such lovely photos for those of us who won’t be able to see the exhibit.


  18. knitxcore says:

    omigosh! i really wish this was somwhere in the US. amazing!


  19. Barbara says:

    wow, everything really looks so impressive. I adore Yayoi Kusama!
    that room is fantastic, but I must say I’m totally in love with project that she did with kids and stickers, so fantastic.


  20. Sefi says:

    It really looks amazingly beautiful and fun. Hope to get to London soon to see it myself. Thanks for sharing :)


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