Since the Broad art museum in Downtown Los Angeles first opened its doors last September, Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room” instantly became the museum’s social media sensation. Its intriguing concept has generated a lot of conversation, particularly among tech-savvy, selfie-snapping millennials hungry for the next fad. With its mirrored walls, twinkling pools of water, and extraterrestrial-like crystal LEDs, it has served as a wildly popular selfie backdrop for visitors — even for Katy Perry.
The museums had high hopes for drawing big crowds, considering that one room sparked a plethora of likes, tweets, and shares. With everyone jumping to get a glimpse of the innovative masterpiece, it prompted an Instagram breakthrough unheard of since MoMA’s rain room.
And it didn’t disappoint. The New York Times says that when a single infinity room came to New York’s David Zwirner gallery in 2013, it yielded six-hour lines with thousands of "art lovers" standing for hours eager to capture the season’s hottest high-culture selfie.
Now the Broad is announcing that the installation titled “Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” will be followed with the museum’s first visiting special exhibition: “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.” This will include a whopping six of these immersive infinity mirror rooms and portray a seven-decade survey of an 87-year-old Japanese artist’s work.
Regular admission to the Broad has been free (minus the time spent waiting in line) but the Kusama show will now cost you (specific fee not announced yet). The exhibition will include the artist’s 1965/2016 work “Infinity Mirror Room — Phalli’s Field,” featuring red phallic objects echoed on mirrored walls, and the domed and dotted “Dots Obsession — Love Transformed Into Dots” from 2009.
The exhibit is the first survey of Kusama’s “Infinity Mirror” rooms and was organized by the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where it will debut Feb. 23, 2017. The exhibit then travels to the Seattle Art Museum from June to September 2017 and the Broad from October 2017 to January 2018. It will eventually be followed by displays at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The Broad’s current “Infinity Mirror” room, which pop star Adele used as a video backdrop in her performance of “When We Were Young,” has been nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. In an interview posted to the museum's Facebook page, the singer said she discovered the installation from Katy Perry’s epic Instagram picture.
Kusama, 87, lives in Tokyo in a psychiatric hospital. According to the New York Times, the hyperaccumulation of objects and relentless repetition of images that can be seen in the phenomenon is associated with her history of hallucinations and psychological trauma. By viewing the refraction of lights and dizzying array of color scattered across our feeds, we get a glimpse into how she experiences and interprets life itself.