The healing power of art, Yayoi Kusuma is a great example of how art can be the instrument to cope with mental illness.
Yayoi Kusama’s life is marked by severe mental illness, with multiples attempts of suicide and a long period of emotional instability. The daughter of a troubled mother caught in Japanese woman roles and traditions while the outside world was changing. The Japanese generation that suffered the cultural changes, the shock between the demand of adapting to the modern western style of life but still tied the cultural Japanese traditional role of women.
The Healing Power of Art
Yayoi Kusuma’s first twenty years into arts are marked by her mental instability. She settles in NYC with the help of Georgia O’Keeffe. Immediately joins avant-garde groups of friends and surrealist artist, very soon her fashion was sold in Bloomingdale.
Her years in NYC are marked by overworking and failing to making a living. Her creativity was immense but her illness with obsession, repetitiveness, and hallucination did not let her perform at a normal pace. Frustrated by overworking, failing and isolation she attempts suicide.
Once she moved back to Tokyo in 1973 she hospitalized in a mental institution and she finally manages to learn how to use her talent as a tool to cope with her illness. Since 1973 she lives in this mental institution and has her studio nearby. She is a great example of how modern psychology and therapy can channel a mental condition and transform it.
The healing power of art was taught to her marking another stage of her life, filled with success and triumph. Since the ’80s her work started to be recognized, firms as Louis Vuitton, Lancome, and Marc Jacobs have created lines with her work. She has participated in la Biennale, her work and installations tour contemporary museums around the world and in 2017 the Yayoi Kusama Museum opened up in Tokyo.
All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins
Her works with mirror installation started during the early 1960s. She created All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins to invite people to submerge, enter and vividly experience her world of repetition, obsession, and hallucinations.
F0r some it is a curiosity of immense creativity and lively, fun experience. For others, it is a true experience of empathy and understanding of her mind travels!
Do not miss this opportunity while her installation is here in Miami at the Institute of Contemporary Art, ICA.