Yayoi Kusama wraps the trees of the New York Botanical Garden in peas

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Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama poured over a thousand mirrored balls into a pond and covered trees in the New York Botanical Garden with peas as part of a park-wide exhibit.


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

Above: Narcissus Garden is part of the Kusama: Cosmic Nature exhibition. Above: Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees was created by Yayoi Kusama

The show, which was postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is open to visitors until October 10.

Kusama, who is famous for his large-scale artwork filled with polka dots, used elastic cords and metal staples to tightly wrap several trees in a red polyester fabric covered in white spots.

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

Dancing pumpkin by
The dancing pumpkin is in painted bronze

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

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

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

I wanna fly to the universe in the New York Botanical Gardens
I want to fly to the universe is reflected in a pond

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

Installations have also been placed inside the buildings of the New York Botanical Garden.

My Soul Blooms Forever is a harvest of colorful, cartoon-like metal flowers growing from a circular body of water under the glass dome of the Enid A Haupt conservatory – a greenhouse built in 1902 full of palm trees and orchids.

My Soul Blooms Forever in the conservatory of the New York Botanical Garden
My soul blooms forever at the Enid A. Haupt conservatory

Among the columns of the Mertz Library building, which dates from 1898, a group of tentacle-shaped polka-dot fronds form Kusama’s 2015 piece simply titled Life.

Besides pumpkins and peas, Kusama is famous for its interactive optical illusion spaces that use mirrors and lights to create endless immersive experiences.

Kusama's life in the New York Botanical Gardens library
Life is on display in the Mertz library

She created Infinity Mirrored Room – Illusion Inside the Heart for botanical gardens, with colored glass that will filter light through the seasons.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the room will not open until summer and will be limited with timed 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 delighted visitors caused queues.

Photographs by Robert Benson Photography.

Kusama: Cosmic Nature airs April 10 through October 31, 2021 at the New York Botanical Gardens. Check out the Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events happening around the world.


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