Beyond the Polka Dot
Beyond the Polka Dot
How well do you know Yayoi Kusama? Chances are you have seen her work shared online–her installations and eye-catching pumpkin sculptures have been widely instagrammed. But how much do you know about her life and what motivates her to keep making art well into her 90s? Kusama’s career has spanned more than seven decades. She has persevered to realise her creative vision despite facing personal and professional challenges throughout her life. Making art has helped her to heal, sustain, and uplift. In this talk, we peel back the layers of one of the world’s most famous artists. Hear from M+ Deputy Director, Curatorial, and Chief Curator Doryun Chong, and independent scholar Mika Yoshitake, the co-curators of special exhibition Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now.
This talk will be held in English. Simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese will be available.
About the Speakers
Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Curatorial, and Chief Curator, oversees all curatorial activities and programmes at M+, including acquisitions, exhibitions, learning and public programmes, and digital initiatives encompassing the museum’s three main disciplinary areas of design and architecture, moving image, and visual art, as well as the thematic area of Hong Kong visual culture. Since joining M+ as the inaugural Chief Curator in 2013, Chong has led the transformative growth of the M+ Collections and steered the curatorial direction and pedagogical practices of the museum’s exhibitions and programmes to foreground the transcultural and transnational narratives of twentieth- and twenty-first-century visual culture.
Mika Yoshitake is a US–based art historian and independent curator with expertise in post-war Japanese art. She gained her MA and PhD in art history from UCLA, where, as part of her studies, she curated the AICA award-winning exhibition Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha (2012). As a former curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, Yoshitake curated the hugely successful Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (2017), which toured to five North American museums. As guest curator, her past and forthcoming exhibitions include KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature at New York Botanical Garden (2021), Yoshitomo Nara at LACMA (2021–2022), and Breath(e): Towards Climate and Social Justice at the Hammer Museum (2024).
Image at top: Yayoi Kusama. Accumulation of Stardust (detail), 2001. Acrylic on canvas, three panels. 194 × 390 cm. Matsumoto City Museum of Art. © YAYOI KUSAMA