Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"I Love Kusama" Exhibit at the Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum recently launched "Collectors Series", a new exhibition program that features private collections of the country’s leading art and antiquities collectors. This first collection features the vibrant and sometimes controversial works of art by Yayoi Kusama, popularly known for her Louis Vuitton collaboration.

I was able to personally check out the Louis Vuitton boutique in Singapore last year, I was initially drawn to the tentacles and the boisterous colors. At that time, I had no idea who Yayoi Kusama was. 
Yayoi Kusama, born in Japan, 1929, is one of the leading and most influential figures of the avant-garde scene and is credited to be an important precursor of various art movements which took shape between the 1950s and 60s, namely Minimalism, Feminism and Pop Art. Kusama remains active and relevant at 84, as attested by her works being one of the main highlights of the recently concluded ArtBasel HK.

Notable Kusama installations include her immersive infinity mirror rooms that have been featured in institutions like the Whitney Museum of American Art and Tate Modern, and her iconic spotted pumpkin sculptures seen on both indoor and outdoor exhibitions in different countries. In 2011, Kusama also worked with fashion designer Marc Jacobs for a line of whimsical products and corresponding window displays for Louis Vuitton.
The event last Monday started with a press conference where art collector, Kim Camacho, spoke about her fascination and admiration for Kusama, even travelling to Japan to meet this very elusive artist. Ms. Camacho mentioned that it was a very rare opportunity indeed as Kusama rarely meets people, much more show them how she works on her art.

"She was very kind and accommodating," beams Ms. Camacho, who was proudly bedecked in Kusama x Louis Vuitton duds (from her sunglasses down to her shoes) when she visited the artist at the latter's studio. She mentioned that the artist was mesmerized by her "outfit" and gave a huge smile the moment Camacho entered her studio. Kusama is most known for her pop art style, and her heavy use of polka dots.

Ms. Camacho's very extensive (and impressive) collection will be displayed at the Ayala Museum until September 1. Here are some of her pieces which are [mostly] signed by the artist herself:

with Rica and Krissy
I Love Kusama is held in celebration of the 40th Year of the ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month. 
The exhibition will be on view until 1 September, 2013. As part of its education component, Ayala Museum has invited Akira Tatehata, one of the world’s leading experts on Kusama and the curator the Japanese Pavilion during the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993 (when Kusama represented the country) for a one-time lecture on 10 August, 2013 at 4PM, Ayala Museum Ground Floor Lobby.
Robert Walrod (intern) together with Director Heather Lenz, and Producer, Karen Johnson, is working on a feature-length documentary about the artist entitled Kusama: Princess of Polka Dots. He came upon my blog and sent me an email about the film. Check out the trailer here where Kusama shares how she started painting, her inspirations, and the numerous challenges she faced.

For more information regarding the Ayala Museum exhibit,, call 757-7117 to 21 or visit, or email

For more information on "Kusama: Princess of Polka Dots", visit


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