The Whole World in a Polka Dot

Infinity Mirrored Room – Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (2009)

If there is a room that I want to forever stay, I would choose Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room. I would love to throw away all the tedious things and the fear I’ve been carrying, and take a deep breath, staring at the little lights shimmering. Stepping in this infinity room with mirrors on every single side is a process when reflections blended into the real lights, and when illusions started playing with the reality.

In this infinity room – Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity – I was immersed in candle-shaped flickering lights and infinite amount of their reflections. Gradually extinguished and then suddenly went out into complete darkness, the lights are an infinite version of the Japanese toro nagashi ceremony, where paper lanterns are floated down a river and ancestral spirits can be sent to their final resting places.

At a moment in the room, I discovered that those lights are like every single one of us, and the room itself would be the world we live in. We shimmer from the lightest to the complete darkness in the unlimited space that we fantasized, and pass down to the next generation to continue and repeat. We are all in a space where recognition and imagination can go beyond and transcend any limitations, where darkness represents both the beginning and the ending of a life.

Dots Obsession—Love Transformed into Dots (2007)

Yayoi Kusama’s eternal love to polka dots traced back to her early childhood and it was presented in various forms throughout almost all her works. In 1968, Kusama wrote, “Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos”. If you think about it, it’s a very profound statement. Everything started as a dot, and then became a line, then a side…and ultimately accumulated into another dot. While millions of dots composed of our world, our world by itself is only one polka dot among millions of them in the universe. Maybe that’s what Kusama tried to imply in the “infinity room” and the concept of “eternal love”. Polka dots are shapes, a pattern, a kind of doodle, an iconic fashion trend, but they are also the ultimate form of all the things combined.

Dots Obsession—Love Transformed into Dots (2007)

Just as the darkness in the infinity room can imply both birth and death, polka dots also can represent the beginning and ending forms of the world. Everything starts as a dot and ends as a dot, and that’s how infinity is defined – something without bound and can be discovered and extended inexhaustibly.

Infinity mirror is timeless – we look at reflections of images of ourselves from every single angle. We are a part of it, yet the world is reflected in our eyes.


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