Yayoi Kusama- Life, paintings, contribution, death- Easy explanation

Yayoi Kusama- Life, paintings, contribution, death- Easy explanation

Yayoi Kusama: In this article, you would know everything about Yayoi Kusama- From his childhood to death. Yayoi Kusama- Life, paintings, contribution, death- Easy explanation.

Yayoi Kusama- Life, paintings, contribution, death- Easy explanation


She is known for her diverse approach towards the art world. Yayoi Kusama is a pop art artist who is known for painting, sculpture, performance art, fictional film and writing.

She was the only artist who got the designation of an honorable artist, the work of Yayoi Kusama is based in conceptual art.

Because she was also a firm societal campaigner, who used to participate in societal movements through her art such as minimalism, feminist art, and environmental art, etc.

The official website of Yayoi Kusama is www.yayoi-kusama.jp. You will get the collection of all artworks of this artist. She was the student of  Kyoto School of Arts & Crafts.

Along with pop art paintings, she is also a master in “Nihonga.” Nihonga is Japanese painting that came into existence in 1900. It is the extended form of traditional Japanese painting.

Yayoi Kusama is not the only expert in these two fields, but she is also a master in Abstract impressionism (A type of abstract painting).

Yayoi kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who expressed her artistic expression through her unique style. This pop art artist was born into an affluent family of business elite who had a seed farm and plant nursery.

Despite having this wealth and amenities, her childhood was not so much good.

The mother of this artist was physically abusive. And the demeanor of her father was not so much good. That’s why Yayoi Kusama had said in her magazine interview– I hate sexual attachment and familial relationship.

But in her artistic expression, you would see the explicit depiction of those things which she hated most. This Japanese artist played a very crucial role in the renaissance of “The Independent Group.”

Since the 1970s- Yayoi Kusama has continued to create paintings for museum installations, most notable installations in American Japanese and Chinese museums.

Early life: 1929–1949

Yayoi Kusama spent her adolescence in closed darkness. She was from well to do family, who had a seed farm and plant nursery in Japan. Despite having this much amenities and wealth, her childhood was not convivial. The mother of this artist was physically abusive.

Her mother used to scold and beat her in front of her friends.

Yayoi Kusama tells about her father that he was not a good person. Her father indulged in extramarital affairs. The mother of this artist used to send her to spy on her father.

That’s why she has said in her many TV, Magazines interview-  I didn’t want to have familial and physical intercourse with anyone for years.

  • Information of Yayoi Kusama (A pop art artist) in short:
  • Family Background: Affluent family
  • Business: Seed farm & Plant Nursery
  • Hobby in childhood: Writing poems
  • Problems: Extramarital affairs of Father & Abusive demeanor of Mother
  • Dislike: Obsession with Physical intercourse (Negative)

Famous story of Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is a successful commercial illustrator and pop art artist who devoted her life to the artistic world. When the age of this artist was ten years, Yayoi Kusama began to explore vivid hallucinations about which she had told in one Japanese TV interview.

It was nothing else but merely a dream- she says that this dream changed her artistic approach. Yayoi Kusama described it as “flashes of light, auras, or dense fields of dots.” It is the elaboration of her dream.

She portrayed this dream (Hallucination) through her art- she organized an exhibition wherein naked participants had covered their body with polka dots (Array of large filled circles).

For the first time, Yayoi Kusame came to public attention due to this unique artistic expression.

Early success in Japan: 1950–1956

Polka dots that was the trademark of Yayoi Kusama in her initial years. Her paintings were different from other pop art artists. She used to depict simple paintings of mundane objects such as distorted bird shapes, daily use products,

Her specialty is- Yayoi Kusama began covering surfaces as Keith Haring- She painted at all possible places- household objects, floors, canvases, walls even naked assistants. By 1950, she came to public attention due to this unique style.

And by late 1960, this pop art artist had become famous in the art world and advertisement industry. She is not only renowned in painting and drawing, but her work is spread to installation art, performance art, writing, and fashion, etc.

Art with Polka dots:

The idea of this art had come from her hallucination (dream) wherein she had imagined— flashes of light, auras, or dense fields of dots.

Same, she tried on her naked participants, first of all, Yayoi Kusama organized an exhibition and invited people from all over the world. Then she covered each naked participants with polka dots.

And many times she succeeds in getting prize and appreciation of other pop art artists. Artistic expression with polka dots was unique to everyone, that’s why due to this artistic expression, she became famous among other artists.

New York City: 1957–1972

When Yayoi Kusama was 27 years old, she left Japan and went to the United States of America. After gaining a successful career as a pop art artist, she had told the reason behind this.

She said that Japanese society is very conservative, societal prejudice never let any woman for a dream career.

It is too feudalistic, servile, small, and too scornful for women.

That’s why Yayoi Kusama had left Japan at the age of 27. Then she attained the designation of pop art artist. At this age, she went to Seattle (Seaport city of USA). Zoe Dusanne Gallery exhibited her paintings.

Yayoi Kusama stayed in Seattle for a year. And then she went to New York City (1957–1972).

Yayoi Kusama was the leader in the avant-grade movement. During her U.S visit, she met with many people who were directly connected with other art movements such as Abstract expressionism, Abstract illusionism, Academic art, avant-garde movement. There she established the existence of Avant-Grage movement.

Yayoi Kusama quickly established her reputation as a leader in this art movement (avant-garde movement). And for this work, this artist also received praise from the so-called anarchist art critic Herbert Read. After this successful journey,

In 1963, she had continued her series of Mirror/infinity room concept. In this series, she used to install the pair of parallel mirrors (It creates a series of very small reflection that seems infinite).

Return to Japan: 1973–1977

Yayoi Kusama spent a successful artistic life in the different part of the world, but due to some personal reason, she had to return her home country Japan.

In 1973, she returned to her own country Japan in ill health, where she began writing surrealistic novels such as poetry and short stories.

And during this phase, she started writing on various topics such as sad poetry on various art style-  Abstract Impressionism, Abstract illusionism, Academic art, avant-garde movement, etc

You may get her novels on surrealism, and during this period she also wrote many short stories about the lifestyle of pop art artists and other artists of various art movements.

It is said that when Yayoi Kusama was not mentally fit then, she checked herself into the mental hospital (Seiwa Hospital) for the mental illness which was at the short distance from her home.

Revival: 1980s–present

The organically abstract paintings of Yayoi Kusama were comparatively very lovely. These were the part of Infinity Nets series which was started by this artist in New York.

And we deep conformity among the paintings of Yayoi Kusama, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock.

They are counted in the pioneers of this art form. This year was the milestone of her artistic career. When Yayoi Kusama left New York then for some time, she did not participate in any international exhibition, art programs, and traditional ceremonies.

Works and publications

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese pop art artist. Whose artwork can be seen in other art fields such as performance art, film, fashion, painting, poetry, fiction, etc.? This artist did not only work for the renaissance of the pop art movement.

But she also devoted her life for the advancement of other art forms such as minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, feminism, pop art, and abstract expressionism, etc.

In the year 1960, she had become famous worldwide when this pop art artist had organized a series of happenings in which participants from the entire world (Especially from western countries) had participated in this event.

The special and weird thing of this event was- All participants were naked, and their body was covered with Polka dots (Pattern of large filled circles of the same size).

Following is the list fields wherein Yayoi Kusama remained active.


Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?

1- Dots Obsession

  • Artist: Yayoi Kusama
  • Created: 2003

This artist is internationally known for her dot paintings and exquisite net. And this painting which was created with the collaboration of other artists is the fine example of this type. It’s a yellow color painting with big black circle embedded on its surface. It is the part of New York avant-garde.

2- Narcissus Garden

  • Artist: Yayoi Kusama
  • Created: Not known
  • Dimensions: Not fixed

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese self-taught artist who made this painting. It’s an open artistic expression wherein she had designed this park with big silver balls floating on the water. This pop art artist has got this sculpture installed in a so-called pond.

3- Ascension of Polka Dots

  • Artist: Yayoi Kusama
  • Created: Not known
  • Dimensions: Not fixed

It’s a combination of white circle and maroon sheet. This painting was depicted on the surface of the tree. It’s an extension of her painting series (Polka Dots). Ascension of polka dots shows the contradiction that those trees are the plastic tree.

4- Ready to Blossom in the Morning

  • Artist: Yayoi Kusama
  • Created: 1989
  • Dimensions: 38 x 45.5 cm. (15 x 17.9 in.)

The title of this painting is –Ready to Blossom in the Morning which was made by this artist in 1989. The medium of this painting is- Acrylic on canvas. The dimension of this painting is 38 x 45.5 cm. (15 x 17.9 in.). The painting has been sold in an exhibition, but still, you may see its imitation in American Art gallery and other galleries which are dedicated to this artist.

5- No. F

  • Artist: Yayoi Kusama
  • Dimensions: 1.05 m x 1.32 m
  • Created: 1959
  • Medium: Oil paint

It’s an oil painting. It’s a part of an online collection of Yayoi Kusama. Along with this painting, there are 2,393 paintings which are available online. Psychologically, this painting shows the relationship between simplicity and artistic expression. There are small black dots which are depicted on brown paper.

6- Beyond the End of the Century

  • Artist: Yayoi Kusama
  • Created: 1987
  • Genre: Abstract art

The title of this painting is Beyond the End of the Century. This pop art artist had made this painting in 1987. The medium of this painting is- Acrylic on canvas. And the real size of this painting is 162 x 130 cm. (63.8 x 51.2 inch). It’s a part of her famous art series- Infinity Nets series.


There is a saying that- Anti-graffiti art which was inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s polka dot motif. It forms the distance between Camouflage in Idaho (2015).

Film (Yayoi Kusama movies)

This movie either directly or indirectly connected with the life of Yayoi Kusama which has been the part of her life. If you watch this movie then definitely you would observe the connection between this movie and Yayoi Kusama.

Mondo New York (1988 film)

  • Directed by: Harvey Nikolai Keith
  • Produced by: Stuart S. Shapiro
  • Music by: Johnny Pacheco
  • Cinematography: Lenny Wong
  • Edited by: Richard Friedman
  • Release date: 1988
  • Language: English

This movie resembles the life of Yayoi Kusama. Joey Arias, Rick Aviles, Charlie Barnett, Joe Coleman, Emilio Cubeiro and Karen Finley were the most important people who played a very crucial role in this movie. Richard Friedman edited this movie.

Yayoi kusama is a Japanese pop art artist, but it is American origin movie which was directed by Harvey Nikolai Keith. And produced by Stuart S. Shapiro.



In 1968, Yayoi Kusama established her own company– “Kusama Fashion Company Limited. This fashion hub was the expression of her artistic approach.

This artist began selling the product which was avant-garde in nature. These are the group of people who were experimental radical and unorthodox with respect to society and its culture.

This company (Kusama Fashion Company Limited) was the gathering of non-traditional aesthetic innovation.

The initial acceptability of this company was based on unacceptability (staunch criticizer of relationship).

Yayoi Kusama had designed a pink dotted phone (with Dog shaped holder). This cell phone was designed and made by this artist in 2009.

The name of this cellphone (Entitled)- Handbag for Space Travel with the cute tagline- My Doggie Ring-Ring.

This pop art artist also worked for Lancome (French cosmetics). This so-called advertisement company portrayed her as a brand ambassador. Yayoi Kusama created artwork (imitation of her infinity series) for this company (French cosmetics house and luxury perfumes).

Writing work of Yayoi Kusama

Due to some personal reason, Yayoi Kusama returned to Japan. It was the time of 1973 when she started writing over various topics such as minimalism, surrealism, feminism, Art Brut, pop art and abstract expressionism, etc.

Her nationality is Japanese, but she is famous in America and Western countries due to her writing work.

Yayoi Kusama published a book of paintings and poems entitled 7. These poems are based on the events that happened during art movements such as- feminism, minimalism, pop art, surrealism, Art Brut and abstract expressionism, etc.

One year later, her first novel appeared that was also based on the same theme. The name of this novel is the Manhattan Suicide Addict. It’s the first novel of Yayoi Kusama (ISBN 10: 2840661152  ISBN 13: 9782840661153).

After this book, she entirely devoted his artistic career to the writing, she has written on many topics which are directly or indirectly related to art movements. These books make you understand about the real predicament of art movements that had been run by various artists in 17th, 18th, and 19th century.

After the success of her first novel Manhattan Suicide Addict, she kept writing.

List of Books written by Yayoi Kusama:

  • The Hustler’s Grotto of Christopher Street (1983)
  • The Burning of St Mark’s Church (1985)
  • Between Heaven and Earth (1988)
  • Woodstock Phallus Cutter (1988)
  • Aching Chandelier (1989)
  • Double Suicide at Sakuragazuka (1989)
  • Angels in Cape Cod (1990)


Pumpkin, The Visionary Flowers and Tulipes de Shangri-La are some artwork of Yayoi Kusama for which this artist had received the commission.

Till now,  this artist has completed major outdoor sculptural commissions. Most of them are very big such as Pumpkin (1994), The Visionary Flowers (2002), Tsumari in Bloom (2003) and  Tulipes de Shangri-La (2003).

Most of them are in the form of flowers, brightly hued monstrous plants and private institutions. In 2010, Yayoi Kusama designed a Town Sneaker styled bus. The name of this artwork is Mizutama Ranbu.

It is still appreciated because its interface is very lovely that shows the relationship between the artistic world and the digital world.

In 2011, Yayoi Kusama was commissioned to design the front cover of pocket (London Underground map).

Exhibition list

  • 1976: Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art
  • 1987: Fukuoka, Japan
  • 1989: Center for International Contemporary Arts, New York
  • 1993: Represented Japan at the Venice Biennale
  • 1996: Recent Works at Robert Miller Gallery
  • 1998–1999: Retrospective exhibition of work toured the US and Japan
  • 1998: “Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama,1958–1969”, LACMA
  • 1998–99: “Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama
  • 2000: Le Consortium, Dijon
  • 2001–2003: Le Consortium
  • 2004: KUSAMATRIX, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
  • 2004–2005: KUSAMATRIX traveled to Art Park Museum of Contemporary Art
  • 2007: FINA Festival 2007
  • 2008: The Mirrored Years, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Permanent Infinity Room installations

It is the masterpiece of Yayoi Kusama wherein she has designed the series of mirror which reflects the picture of the same object.

When infinity room (mirror room) opened at London’s Victoria Miro. Then this art attracted public attention shockingly. People queued for hours to see it.

This artwork was shared on social media many times. But you may see its imitation in other museums and art galleries also.

  • Infinity Dots Mirrored Room- 1996, Mattress Factory
  • You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies- 2005, Phoenix Art Museum
  • Gleaming Lights of the Souls- 2008, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
  • Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away- 2013, Los Angeles
  • Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field- 1965/2016, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen


Yayoi Kusama is a painter, drawing artist, Sculpture, performance artist. She led many art movements such as Pop art, minimalism, feminist art, environmental art, etc.

This pop art artist received the Praemium Imperiale award for the commendable achievement in these fields.

If you want to see her paintings, depictions, and books, then you may prefer the following associations, art galleries, and museums.


  • Museum of Modern Art- New York
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art- Los Angeles
  • Walker Art Center- Minneapolis
  • Phoenix Art Museum- Phoenix; Tate Modern- London
  • Stedelijk Museum- Amsterdam
  • Centre Pompidou- Paris
  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts- Salt Lake City- UT
  • National Museum of Modern Art- Tokyo.


Field of Activity: pop art, feminism, minimalism, abstract expressionism, surrealism, and Art Brut.

Known for: Painting drawing, sculpture, installation art, performance art, film, fiction, fashion, writing.

Specialty: Psychological, Autobiographical and Sexual content.

Famous Books: The Hustler’s Grotto of Christopher Street, The Burning of St Mark’s Church, Between Heaven and Earth, Woodstock Phallus Cutter.

It is the list of achievements of Yayoi Kusama. During this whole life, she made many paintings that’s why you can see her artworks in many museums such as Museum of Modern Art (1998), the Whitney Museum (2012), and the Tate Modern (2012).

Yayoi Kusama received many awards for her different artwork including Asahi Prize (2001), Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2003), the National Lifetime Achievement Award, etc.

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