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Kusama mannequin appears in show windows of New York

Posted January. 19, 2023 07:47,   

Updated January. 19, 2023 07:47


Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (age 93), clothed in a red polka-dotted pumpkin, appeared at the Louis Vuitton store show window in New York. Holding a paintbrush in her hand, she blinks as she appears to draw polka dots on the glass. But then she discovers a person standing in front of her and smiles. She turns out to be a robot.

Louis Vuitton unveiled its new collection of 450 items on Jan. 6, featuring handbags, apparel, and accessories partnered with Kusama in 11 years since 2012. The Kusama mannequin featured in Louis Vuitton stores around the world has gone viral on social media.

The huge Kusama mannequin in Paris is painting polka dots on the wall on the roof of a building. A Kusama sculpture also stretches from the first to the second floor of the store in Harajuku, Tokyo. The robot and sculpture are pretty popular as they depict real-life reflections of Kusama in red hair and sunglasses.

Usually, art is considered abstract and hard to understand. Of course, works by artists such as Pablo Picasso or Vincent van Gogh gradually gain public fame with time. Still, it is not common for artists to be easily familiarized with her work and character.

The Infinity Mirror Room, a room covered with mirrors, is a popular Instagrammable hot-spot, and exhibited in leading art museums across the world. Tickets are instantly sold out as soon as ticket sales start. This is because Kusama’s work is social-media friendly.

“Visitors to the art museum look for experience, encounter, and integration with artists. The Infinity Mirror Room, which gives the impression of a special being inside a surreal space, and other works of Kusama fit well with the audience's needs,” said Director Choi Eun-joo of the Daegu Art Museum.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com