Yayoi Kusama wraps trees in the New York Botanical Gardens in polka dots

The Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has poured over a thousand mirror balls into a pond and covered the trees in the New York Botanical Garden with dots as part of a park-wide exhibition.

The site-specific installations were created as part of the Kusama: Cosmic Nature exhibition from 2021, which was creatively installed in the gardens of New York.

Above: The daffodil garden is part of the Kusama: Cosmic Nature exhibition. Above: The Rise of the Polka Dots on the Trees was created by Yayoi Kusama

The show, which has been postponed from the previous year due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be open to visitors until October 10.

Known for her large-format, polka-dot-filled artwork, Kusama wrapped several trees tightly in a red polyester fabric covered with white spots with bungee cords and metal clips.

The piece is called Ascension of the Polka Dots on the Trees.

Dancing pumpkin over Dancing Pumpkin is made of lacquered bronze

Other installations by the artist in the gardens include a lake with 1,400 mirrored steel balls for Narcissus Garden, an ongoing installation based on a piece of performance art that Kusama first performed in 1966.

The artist previously filled an abandoned building on New York’s Rockaway Peninsula with similar spheres.

Rockaway 2018!  By Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama fills the abandoned garage in New York’s Rockaways with 1,500 mirrored balls

Dancing Pumpkin, a new piece by the artist, is a five meter high bronze sculpture of an amorphous pumpkin figure on eight painted polka dot legs.

I want to fly into the universe in the New York Botanical GardensI want to fly into the universe reflected in a pond

The 92-year-old artist also created a star-shaped aluminum sculpture called I Want to Fly to the Universe, which was installed over a reflective pond.

Installations were also placed in the buildings of the New York Botanical Garden.

My Soul Blooms Forever is a harvest of brightly colored and cartoon-like metal flowers sprouting from a circular water feature under the glass dome of the Enid A Haupt Conservatory – a 1902 greenhouse that’s full of palm trees and orchids.

My soul will forever bloom in the winter garden of the New York Botanical GardensMy soul blooms forever in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Under the pillars of the Mertz Library building from 1898, a collection of tentacle-like polka-dot fronds forms Kusama’s 2015 piece entitled Life.

Aside from pumpkins and polka dots, Kusama is famous for its interactive optical illusion rooms that use mirrors and lights to create infinite immersive experiences.

Life of Kusama in the library of the New York Botanical GardensLife is on display in the Mertz library

She created Infinity Mirrored Room – Illusion Inside the Heart for the Botanical Garden with colored glass that filters the light as it changes with the seasons.

The Broad imposes a 30-second selfie rule in the Yayoi Kusama exhibition

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the piece will not open until summer and is limited to time-controlled tickets.

In 2017, an exhibition of Kasuma’s Infinity Mirrors at The Broad in Los Angeles had to enforce a 30-second selfie rule after snapping visitors caused queues.

Photographs by Robert Benson Photography.

Kusama: Cosmic Nature takes place April 10 through October 31, 2021 at the New York Botanical Gardens. The Dezeen Events Guide provides an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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