Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now
12 November 2022 - 14 May 2023
M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, is pleased to announce the museum’s first Special Exhibition: Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now, to be opened on M+’s first anniversary, 12 November 2022 through 14 May 2023, with HSBC as Lead Sponsor. M+ also announces the ticketing arrangements for General Admission and Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now, both of which take effect on 12 November 2022, and unveils its programme of exhibitions for the second year of opening.
M+ celebrates its first anniversary with a Special Exhibition by visionary artist Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now is the largest retrospective of renowned artist Yayoi Kusama in Asia outside Japan, featuring more than 200 works from major collections from museums and private collections in Asia, Europe, and the United States, the M+ Collection, as well as from the artist’s own collection. Co-curated by Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Curatorial and Chief Curator, M+, and Mika Yoshitake, independent curator, the exhibition introduces a new interpretative approach to Kusama’s over seven-decade career and invites viewers to discover the transformative power of art. The retrospective highlights the core aesthetic elements of Kusama’s work and foregrounds her recurring philosophical questions about life and death and her longing for interconnectedness. The exhibition explores how Kusama has become a global cultural icon who creates vital and influential work to this day.
Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+, says, ‘M+ has achieved unprecedented success in its first year of opening on 12 November 2021. Notwithstanding the temporary closure of the museum from January to April this year due to the pandemic, it has already welcomed over 1.53 million visitors. This strong show of public support is a testament to the museum’s role in transforming and enriching the cultural ecology in Hong Kong and Asia and making contemporary visual culture more accessible to all. We are proud to present Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now to our audiences, as the internationally acclaimed artist’s cross-disciplinary and global art practice resonates with the essence of what M+ offers. We look forward to another splendid year ahead with a terrific line-up of exhibitions and programmes.’
Organised chronologically and thematically, and spanning from Kusama’s earliest work to her most recent output, Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now features a wide range of paintings, installations, sculptures, drawings, collages, moving images, and archival materials. The exhibition examines Kusama’s practice as it developed in Japan, the United States, Europe, and beyond through six themes: Infinity, Accumulation, Radical Connectivity, Biocosmic, Death, and Force of Life.
The exhibition presents three brand-new works to audiences for the first time. Death of Nerves (2022) is a large- scale installation commissioned by M+. Installed in the Lightwell that connects the museum’s ground floor and the basement levels and draping down to the Found Space on the B2 level, the work can be viewed from multiple vantages throughout the M+ building. Dots Obsession—Aspiring to Heaven’s Love (2022), presented in The Studio on the B2 level, is an ambitious immersive environment that includes one of the artist’s signature mirrored spaces. Two large sculptures titled Pumpkin (2022) will be available for public viewing in the Main Hall on the ground floor.
To accompany the exhibition, Thames & Hudson will publish Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now in collaboration with M+. Edited by Doryun Chong and Mika Yoshitake, this comprehensive and richly illustrated 400-page publication features contributions by the editors as well as Isabella Tam, Associate Curator, Visual Art, M+, and Alex A. Jones, independent researcher and writer. The publication is a collection of curatorial essays, thematic texts, a visual chronology of Kusama’s life, a roundtable discussion with leading authorities in the field, and a selection of poetry, manifestoes, past interviews, and previously unpublished artist writings. Both English and Chinese editions are available for pre-order at the M+ Shop online starting from 15 September 2022. In addition, a series of public programmes will be available throughout the exhibition period. Visitors are invited to dive deeper into Kusama’s art practice with curators’ talks, screenings, and family-friendly activities with details to be announced later.