Midway Between Mystery and Symbol: Yayoi Kusama’s Monochrome

Yayoi Kusama Museum

poster for Midway Between Mystery and Symbol: Yayoi Kusama’s Monochrome
[Image: Yayoi Kusama 'Stairway to Heaven (2019) © YAYOI KUSAMA]

Ends in 98 days

*Yayoi Kusama Museum has been temporarily closed from April 29 as preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 in response to the government’s Declaration of a State of Emergency. Following Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s mitigation strategies for COVID-19, Yayoi Kusama Museum reopens from June 3.
*The exhibition period has been shortened. (Originally 2021/4/29–12/26).

Since ancient times, monochrome has been popular in both the East and the West as ink wash paintings and monochromatic paintings. In the twentieth century, monochrome has been developed in various art movements alongside the progress of abstract expression.

Yayoi Kusama has also produced a number of monochrome works. Starting with the monochrome paintings represented by Infinity Nets - a series that she has continued to produce since its release in 1959, to soft sculptures painted with white, gold, or silver. From mirrored rooms that reflect all kinds of colors despite being monochromatic themselves, to installations that fill spaces with monochromatic flowers, to her latest series of paintings, My Eternal Soul. Kusama continues to work with a palette limited to a single color, or to two colors including the ground color.

In these works, the image and the ground are fluid, covering the surface of the work in an all-over manner, and giving the impression of extending outward from the work itself. Here, monochrome emphasizes the repetition, or unifies the accumulation, and plays a major role in amplifying the intense visuality and sense of drive.

This exhibition presents a variety of Kusama’s monochrome works from her early years to the present, and introduces her unique world of monochrome, which can be said to be an enantiosis exploration of color in the expression of self-obliteration that she has consistently pursued.



from June 03, 2021 to December 26, 2021


Yayoi Kusama


http://yayoikusamamuseum.jp/ (venue's website)


Adults ¥1100; High School, Junior High and Elementary School Students ¥600; Infants free.

Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 17:30
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
Note:By appointment only. Open on public holidays Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


Address: 107 Benten-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0851

5 minute walk from the East exit of Ushigome-yanagicho Station on the Toei Oedo line, 7 minute walk from exit 1 at Waseda Station on the Tozai line.

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