Yayoi Kusama and Ais Kacang at the National Gallery

By | 2017-12-19T14:21:57+00:00 June 8th, 2017|
YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow
National Gallery Singapore
9 June – 3 September 2017
Tickets required
Timed entry: 10:00am first session, 9:00pm last session
Self-guided and Curator-guided tours available at the Gallery

Singapore – You might recognise her work. Polka dots, lots of them in generous variations of colours, bulbous pumpkins (also decorated with polka dots), or the Infinity Mirror Rooms where reflections go on forever like a starry trip into the Twilight Zone.

The exhibition “YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow” opens tomorrow (9 June) at the National Gallery Singapore. Being the first major Southeast Asian retrospective of the artist’s work, the lines to view Kusama’s psychedelic creations are sure to be long. We can also guarantee that Kusama’s artwork will go viral in the form of thousands of selfies posted on Instagram and hashtagged #SGLovesKusama. To give you an idea of the impending popularity of this exhibition, visiting the Gallery recently, we found that the Kusama themed dessert at the café was already sold out for the afternoon – and this a few days before the Exhibition opened.

If you do make the trip to see YAYOI KUSAMA, make the most of your visit to the National Gallery and hunt down the many instances of food that feature in the paintings on Level 2 and Level 3. In art, food can be the star of the show, but there are many supporting acts hidden in the wings. There are kopitiams and ais kacang, fragrant looking durians that you can almost smell through the canvas and auspiciously positioned mooncakes. These come in watercolour, ink, oils and acrylic. See if you can spot any of the food above.


Some interesting food facts about Yayoi Kusama:

  • Kusama’s fascination with pumpkins began during World War Two. Though food supplies were scarce in Japan, her hometown’s crop of pumpkins remained abundant, and the storehouse belonging to her family was full of them. (Queensland Art Gallery)
  • When she lived in New York in the early years of her career, Kusama could only afford to eat onions and potatoes, which she ate fried. (Telegraph)