Exhibition Details

Location: Katz Wing for Modern Art
Dates: December 20, 2019
to December 31, 2020


Yayoi Kusama’s You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies is one of the artist's more whimsical works. Inspired by a Japanese folktale about a person in a field with 10,000 fireflies, Kusama's work brings the fairy tale to life. Beginning with drawings and paintings, Yayoi Kusama’s work transformed from 2-D pieces to large-scale installations, symbolic of the obsessive and massive nature of her ideas. Subsequently, Kusama’s art began to take large forms and often covers and utilizes entire rooms and spaces.

The piece is a dark room lined with mirrors on every surface and strands of looping LED lighting suspended from the ceiling. This deceptively small room feels as if it’s a vast, infinite galaxy of lighting and allows the viewer to enter and be surrounded, or obliterated by Kusama’s fireflies. 

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room explores the psychedelic sensations of the ‘self’ and the artist’s ongoing hallucinations that started when she was a child. In this work, Kusama’s repetitive and extensive use of polka dots, mirrors, and LED lights explores infinite repetition and encourages you to ‘obliterate’ your personality and become one with eternity. 
A pioneer of perceptual experiences, Kusama expresses a complex balance between her psychological obsessions and her aesthetic control over them. In the late 1950s, she left Japan for New York City. Her work spans paintings, performances, installations, sculptures, films, fashion, and literary works. They transcended the Pop and Minimalist movements of the twentieth century and reflect the mind-altering spirituality of hippie culture.
Yayoi Kusama: You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies is made possible through the generosity of donors to the Museum's annual fund.
El cuarto infinito de espejos de Yayoi Kusama explora las sensaciones psicodélicas del sí mismo, y también las alucinaciones continuas que la artista ha experimentado desde niña. El uso repetitivo e intenso de los lunares, los espejos, y las luces LED investiga la repetición infinita, y te invita a obliterar tu personalidad y hacerte uno con la eternidad.
Una pionera de las experiencias conceptuales, Kusama expresa un complejo equilibrio entre sus obsesiones psicológicas y el dominio estético que ejerce sobre ellas. Dejó a Japón en los 1950 para la Ciudad de Nueva York. Sus obras abarcan la pintura, el performance, las instalaciones, la escultura, el cine, la moda, y las obras literarias. Trascendieron los movimientos pop y minimalista del sigo XX, y llegaron a reflejar la espiritualidad alucinante de la cultura hippie.


Free for Museum Members, Military, and youth ages 5 and under.

General Admission:
$23 — Adults/Adultos
$20 — Senior Citizens/Personas de la tercera edad (Ages 65+)
$18 — Students/Alumnos (with ID) 
— Children/Niños (Ages 6-17)

All exhibitions and installations are included with General Admission. 

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This exhibition is open to the public during voluntary-donation, pay-what-you-wish hours from 3–9 pm each Wednesday, from 6–10 pm on the First Friday of each month, and is free for youth ages 17 and under from 10 am5 pm on the last Saturday of each month during Creative Saturdays: Free Under 18. 
Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here


Media Contact: Margaree Bigler, Communications Manager, margaree.bigler@phxart.org 


Yayoi Kusama, You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies, 2005. Mixed media installation with LED lights. Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by Jan and Howard Hendler.