My First Art Vlog: Yayoi Kusama in Stockholm

In this blog post you will find my very first video log (vlog), lots of polka dot art, some journaling and lots of polka dotted lamps in different colors (swoon!). But first a little bit about the artist Yayoi Kusama…

iHanna's first Vlog: Kusama (with all the polka dots) in Stockholm

Yayoi Kusama and her polka dots

Yayoi Kusama is a internationally well-known and very much loved artist from Japan. She has been making thought-proving art since she was very young, when she went to live in the US, to be more free with her art. She is now 89 years old and she is just as prolific as ever. She has moved back to Japan, and last year a new Kusama Museum opened up in Tokyo. I’d love to visit that museum one day…

My First Art Vlog: Yayoi Kusama in Stockholm asking: What is a polka dot, can it be a room full of spheres? #art

A couple of her artworks were touring Scandinavia in 2016 and I got to see it in Stockholm, Sweden, where I live. Lucky me, right? I was totally mesmerized by her art, as I suspected I would be before going. I love polka dot patterns & colorful, bold art, and that is what Kusama is most known for. Her magnificent paintings with masked dots are called infinite nets, and her installations of objects and whole rooms covered in polka dots, are a piece of Alice in Wonderland magic coming to life. It’s like a Disney Land for adult art lovers.

Do you love polka dots, then visit this blog post and vlog to see more of Yayoi Kusama's art at the exhibtion in Stockholm #polkadots

My very first vlog

I decided on a whim to shoot some film from the Modern Museum of Art in Stockholm when we were there. I wanted to document what I saw and a bit of my own experience being inside this exhibition. Afterwards I was so happy I did, because I have never experienced anything like this before, or since. Kusama’s exhibition is one of my favorite art exhibitions ever. Seeing it on film can not compare to the real thing, to being surrounded by these cool paintings and sculptures, and being able to walk “inside” some of the installation rooms. If you ever have a chance to see one of her exhibitions, don’t hesitate – just go!

I have finally made all those short video clips from the exhibition into a video log of the day, a vlog. My first vlog. I hope you like it.

Here it is (click here if you can’t see it):

I was dressed in a red and white polka dot skirt and hoodie, and felt I had found “my place” in the world. I was especially in love with the round rice lamp room in black that was filled with mirrors. There all the lamps were covered in polka dots and changed color in a slow, hypnotizing way. I did not want to leave! I’m so glad I caught the experience on video with a smart phone, because now at least I can relive this short moment in time when I was surrounded by a wonderful sea of polka dots!

Yayoi Kusama's art installation as it turned turquoise and pink

Outdoors the trees where covered in polka dots, and the entire exhibition entrance at the Modern Museum of Art in Stockholm was too. I was impressed with how varied her art was, from textile art to paintings to sculptures and huge installations. I can’t really picture how this little woman created some of these things, but I’m glad she did. She has created cool polka dot clothes together with famous fashion designers too, and wrote letters to Georgia O’Keeffe, which I spotted in a glass showcase together with her earlier sketchbooks.

iHanna's FIRST VLOG: Yayoi Kusama's Art Exhibition in Stockholm

I knew Yayoi Kusama was sick as a young woman, and that her polka dots is said to have been born out of strange hallucinations and some kind of psychosis / psychology disorder. But I can’t really see it for myself, that these are works of distress or pain. I think they look happy, and they make me happy too. But everyone interprets art differently I guess, and that is totally fine. And even if they’ve come out of hallucinations, she has done something very pretty with her visions. An artist’s biography can add interest and dimension, but artwork that is strong on their own are even more powerful.

Polka dots to me are so happy, and Kusama’s work is full of childlike wonder and happiness. I think that’s what she wants to say to her viewers too, even though she herself can’t express it.

Yayoi Kusama's Art Installation in Sweden (in Swedish colours and lots of polka dots) Photo Copyright Hanna Andersson #vlog

In the videos interviews of her that I’ve watched on YouTube, she talks in a monotone and robotic way, like she is on drugs. Often she looks like a shell of a human being. It’s super sad, and still full of hope because of what she is saying. She is said to live in a psychiatric ward (what I called care taker home in the video), and has done so for the past 40 years, but every morning she goes to her own studio space and paints for the rest of the day. Art is her life, and I think that’s how it was meant to be.

She treats her daily painting sessions like an obsession and a full time job at the same time, and I guess in a way that’s what painting is for her. Painting is a must, a savior, an obsession and her biggest passion.

I’m so grateful for what she has created, and that I got to experience it in my own life.

Yayoi Kusama – Obsessed with Polka Dots

Here’s a video featuring her and more of her art (by Tate):

Further polka dotted inspiration

Previous Blog posts about polka dots
More Polka dots on Pinterest
Video: How to paint like Yayoi Kusama (how her infinity nets are created)
If you want to learn more about the artist, watch this 20 minute long documentary: The Inexhaustible Creations of Yayoi Kusama (Brilliant Ideas Ep. 53 on YouTube):

Let me know below what you think of her art, of polka dots, of the vlog, of anything mentioned above…

15 Responses

  1. Great vlog, you seemed so delighted and at home all at the same time. Thank you for introducing me to Yayoi Kusama.

    • Thanks Caroline for visiting my blog and watching the very first vlog, it was fun to make it for sure. I hope I can put together a new one very soon.

  2. I always take pictures when I go somewhere, but you have inspired me to start taking video when it is an immersive experience. I really loved that black room with the brightly colored polka dot lights.

    Your pictures also made me wonder where one “stores” these pieces of art that one creates…like the big display with pumpkins. I guess when I make something, I am always thinking about where it is going to go and be displayed, stored, etc in my home. I can’t imagine making something so big just because. Something to really think about when you are an artists…limiting yourself spacially.

    Great job on your first vlog. It was delightful!

    • Thanks for your thoughts Carolyn.

      When one is as “big” as Kusama, I think storing is not a problem any more. She has a whole museum that is named after her in Japan, and probably several storage houses full of exhibition material and art, when it’s not out and touring the world. :-) But I agree, it would be hard as a beginner to make pieces this big and then be able to keep them somewhere. Lucky a few are inflatable, hehe.

    • Vad glad jag blir att du följer mig fortfarande. :-) Ja det borde du gjort, fast den var inte i år så det blir svårt att se just denna. Hoppas som sagt hon kommer tillbaka till Sverige snart.

  3. Loved your Vlog, Hanna! It was so much fun seeing you so happy!! And what an interesting artist you have introduced us to! I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on her and her art. I’m also looking forward to more about your Randomousity journaling!

    • Thanks Arielle!

      I am surprised myself at how happy I was over her art, but now I’m glad I have the video so I can go back and feel it again and again.

  4. Å vilken fin film du gjort av en mycket bra konstnär. Vilka underbara konstverk och vilken härlig upplevelse. Gör fler bloggar.

  5. Loved it Hana! Now I want to see that exhibit and of course you were perfectly dresses for the show!

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