If I was in Las Vegas the first stop I would make is the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art to experience two installations by Japanese artist, Yayio Kusama: Infinity Mirrored Room – Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity and Narcissus Garden.
“Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity,” created in 2009, represents the eternal cycle of life over the span of just under a minute. The space represents Kusama's lifelong obsession with the dissolution of the self into the infinite.
According to the wall text, for Kusama, obliteration is a reflection on the experience of death and the potential of the afterlife.” In this case, Kusama was inspired by the tradition of toro nagashi, a ceremony to guide ancestral spirits back to their resting places on the last night of summer by floating paper lanterns down a river. As the lights fade and you find yourself surrounded by darkness, it’s not hard to relate to the artist’s spiritual vision.The experience takes place in an enclosed room made of a 13.5-foot cube, plated with mirrors on all sides. A narrow catwalk extends towards the center, allowing visitors to move through the lights into the center of the cube where 1-2 people are allowed to walk through at a time.
“Narcissus Garden,” features 750 silver spheres that form a lake on the gallery floor. A winding path invites visitors to stroll through the space and consider the distorted reflections staring back at them.
Having garnered international acclaim for her immersive infinity mirrored rooms, Kusama’s inspiration draws from a difficult childhood, according to “Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama 1958-1968,” published in conjunction with The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit of the same name. At age 6, she began experiencing traumatic hallucinations of being consumed by dots and nets. At age 10, she started to channel those visions into paint. Though her mother tried earnestly to stifle her daughter’s interest in art, she moved to New York in 1958, where she created her first infinity mirrored room, “Phalli’s Field.”
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
November 17, 2018 – June 30, 2019
Gallery Hours 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM