I'm sure you have seen a photo of Yayoi Kusama's black-polka-dot-clad yellow squash sculpture sitting seaside at Naojima, Japan. And you're probably not a stranger to her style of endless dotting pattern intermixed with bright colors.
2012是草間彌生在歐美大放異彩的一年, 在年初時透過網路得知草間彌生在Tate Modern有個完整回顧展的消息後曾一度想飛到倫敦去仔細瞧瞧。但後續發現在夏天將有一系列的Louis Vuitton產品攻佔紐約, 回顧展也會一起跨過大西洋來到紐約的Whitney Museum, 幾個月來就一直引頸期盼。
2012 is the year of Yayoi Kusama in the US and in Europe. I found out that there was a Yayoi Kusama retrospective show at Tate Modern at the beginning of the year. Completely excited, I almost flew to London just to see the show. But then after a couple months, I found out that Kusama was collaborating with Louis Vuitton to launch a complete collection that was launching in New York in the summer. Along with this limited edition line, the retrospective that was on exhibit at Tate Modern was going to travel across the Atlantic to come to New York as well. I couldn't be MORE excited.
Louis Vuitton的藝術總監Marc Jacobs在2006年第一次和草間彌生會面, 當場被深深吸引, 且認為草間的作品帶有濃濃的天真氣息。60年代草間彌生在紐約時名氣不小於Andy Warhol, 也在時尚界非常的活躍, 甚至在1968年曾發表同名品牌, 當時也被紐約的媒體成為圓點公主。但也許比較少人知道的是, 今年已經83歲的草間彌生其實從青少年時期就一直為幻覺所苦, 常從雙眼中看到充滿了圓點及色差強烈的世界, 而這個缺陷卻是成就了她這些無造作作品的最大推手。在紐約的創作生涯雖然亮麗, 但經歷摯友過世後便處於精神狀態不穩定及極度憂鬱的狀況下, 幻覺比之前更加嚴重, 在1973年決定返回日本的療養院長住。在療養院附近蓋了一個大型工作室後, 至今不曾停止創作。今年在Marc Jacobs與Louis Vuitton的精心策劃之下, 合作推出了一整個系列的包鞋衣款, 也在快半世紀之後, 再度引起時尚界的關注。
Marc Jacobs, Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, had a meeting with Yayoi Kusama for the first time in 2006. He was captivated by her on the spot and utterly impressed by the innocent air about her work. Back in the 60s, Yayoi Kusama was almost as famous as Andy Warhol in New York. She was also extremely active in the fashion world, launched her own line in 1968 and was crowned the polka-dot princess by the press. But what most people don't know is that the now 83 year old Kusama has been suffering from hallucinations her entire life since her teen years. She would often see the world in bright contrasty colors with dots and squiggly shapes all over. However, this illness also helped developed her world-famous style and aesthetics in a huge way. While she was in New York, her work earned much admiration, but the death of her best friend set her into severe depression. By 1973, she decided to move back to Japan permanently to live in an institution (she still lives there). After building a large studio close to the institution, she never stopped producing new work. And this year, with thoughtful planning by Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, Kusama returns to the fashion scene after almost half a century with a full collaborated collection of bags, shoes and ready-to-wear pieces.
7月10號兩個Louis Vuitton x Kusama的pop-up store在紐約的第五大道及Soho區開幕, 不但吸引了眾多藝人名流, 紐約客及觀光客也都為之瘋狂。草間的圓點覆蓋了第五大道的整棟建築物, 窗口也精心設計了裝置藝術。店內有著整個系列的產品, 但價位很高, 包括我在內大部分的人只是當藝術品看, 相信有入手的朋友們也會細心珍藏。Pop-up store除了在紐約有兩個店家, 在日本的新宿及銀座, 香港及新加坡都分別有據點, 而最後的兩家則會在8月於巴黎及倫敦開幕。
On July 10th, two Louis Vuitton x Kusama pop-up store opened their doors in New York's fifth avenue flagship and the Soho location. The openings attracted a large number of celebrities, New Yorkers and tourists. Kusama's famous dots covered the entire building on fifth avenue, the windows have also been dressed with conceptual installations. Of course, in the store, you could view the entire Louis Vuitton x Kusama collection, but the prices are sky high. Most people, including me, were looking at these pieces as art, and I'm sure the ones that bought the pieces will treasure them as art as well. There will be a total of 8 pop-up store around the world, besides the two in New York, there will be two in Japan (Shinjuku and Ginza), one in Hong Kong, one in Singapore and the last two will open in August in Paris and London.
跟隨著Louis Vuitton旋風來到紐約的, 也是我本身最期待的, 就是在Whitney Museum的草間彌生回顧展。除了有一個空間呈現出60年代時她在紐約的半糜爛波希米亞生活之外, 還有各年代中不同風格的作品。
Arriving in New York alongside the Louis Vuitton collection, and what got me really excited, was the retrospective that is now on exhibition at Whitney Museum. Besides a dedicated space that told a story about her 60s wild bohemia life in New York, the show includes her work from different decades showcasing different sensibility.
整個展覽涵蓋了草間一生的作品, 對於不太瞭解草間的人, 這是一個很棒的展覽。草間的作品最讓人驚訝的是它們呈現出的活力及生命力, 讓參訪者會誤以為草間是個熱情的人, 這也是為什麼很少人能把她的內向與她的作品聯想在一起。但歷史證明大部分內向的藝術家通常在心中都有多層次的感受, 當然草間也不例外。
The exhibition showcase the pieces from Yayoi Kusama's entire life as an artist, for people who aren't familiar with Kusama, this is an excellent exhibition. What's unique about Kusama's work is how lively and energetic they are, any one who's seen them would probably imagine an outgoing person behind the work. Not many could link her quiet nature to her work. But, as proven many times in the the history of art, the introverted artists often have really complex layers of emotions that are expressed explicitly in their work. Kusama definitely belongs in this group.
This complete collection also includes the sparkly-in-the-dark installation, Fireflies.
Yayoi Kusama http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/YayoiKusama July 12, 2012 - September 30, 2012
最後介紹的是由Whitney, Gagosian, 還有Hudson River Park Trust共同贊助的戶外裝置藝術, 在西村河邊的Pier 45, 草間來到紐約時也有去現場查看裝置情形。紅底白點的雕塑成群覆蓋了綠地, 天氣好去河邊散步的朋友們不容錯過。
The last Yayoi Kusama exhibition in New York this summer would be the outdoor installation sponsored by Whitney Museum, Gagosian and the Hudson River Park Trust located at Pier 45. As you can see, Kusama visited the installation when she came to the opening of the exhibitions. The bright red, polka-dot-clad irregular shaped sculptures covered the entire grass field in the park, what a beautiful sight this would be on a sunny day and it's definitely not to be missed.
Manhattan has been invaded by the dots of Yayoi Kusama again in the summer of 2012, and she made the New Yorkers who have forgotten about her completely in awe of her brilliance.