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By Rachel Stone
November 28, 2017

The Obliteration Room

Fans of dot-shaped stickers, rejoice.
By Rachel Stone
November 28, 2017

Avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room is coming to Auckland Art Gallery this December.

For seven decades, the Japanese artist has thrust polka dots to the centre of her paintings, collages and installations, making her a contemporary art favourite and earning a place amongst TIME Magazine's World's 100 Most Influential People. Originally developed for the Queensland Art Gallery's APT 2002: Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, The Obliteration Room leaves the dot-work in the hands of the visitors.

The interactive installation begins as a blank canvas ready to be enhanced with a rainbow of brightly coloured dots. Over the course of the exhibition the white walls, ceiling, furniture and objects in the space are "obliterated" by the build-up of dots into a dizzying blur of colour as visitors apply stickers in various sizes to every surface.

The project stems from hallucinations Kusama began to experience in childhood, where she would see things through a cloud of spots. The Obliteration Room is a reflection of the vision, as well as a way of embracing the whole world in a kind of overall pattern.

Seeing the transformation unfold is a big part of the exhibition and you'll want to head back towards the end of the five-month residency.

The Obliteration Room will appear at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from Saturday 9 December, 2017 to Sunday 2 April, 2018, 10am – 5pm daily. Entry is free.

Image: Yayoi Kusama, The obliteration room 2002-present. Collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Photograph: QAGOMA Photography.

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