Swarovski Kristallwelten: Yayoi Kusama’s Unique Chamber of Wonder Now Open



Swarovski Kristallwelten
Swarovski Kristallwelten
Japan’s Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular contemporary artists in the world. Her large-scale solo shows in Mexico City, Rio, Seoul, Taiwan and in Chile have attracted more than 5 million visitors over the past few years. In particular, her “Infinity Mirror Rooms” caused an international sensation – at times, the visits to her installations had to be limited to 30 seconds. In addition to Kusama’s gallery in Tokyo, Swarovski Kristallwelten has opened the only permanent installation of her work in the world, known as the “Chandelier of Grief.” A new Chamber of Wonder has been opened in Wattens, Tyrol to that end.
Yayoi Kusama is one of the most important post-war Japanese artists. Between 1958 and 1972, she worked mainly in New York. Kusama returned to Japan in 1977, where she voluntarily admitted herself to a psychiatric clinic. She continues to live there today. The famous artist wakes up early every day, leaving the clinic to go to her studio, located across the street, so that she can dedicate herself to her art. In one of her very rare interviews, she revealed that this is the only routine which allows her to create art; she credits it with saving her life.

International hype surrounding Kusama

Kusama became famous for her trademark: polka dots – colourful circles she paints on canvases, sculptures and people. Kusama caused a genuine international frenzy with her “Infinity Mirror Rooms” series, a space format that involves mirrors arranged in a multitude of different ways and that has undergone continuous development. The Broad Museum in Los Angeles recently sold 90,000 tickets to her show in a single afternoon; the David Zwirner Gallery in New York restricted the length of a visit to the Kusama installation to 45 seconds, and visitors to the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, DC waited in lines surrounding the museum for two hours – as a result, international art aficionados had a limit on the amount of time they could visit her exhibition: 30 seconds. Kusama’s art has given rise to a selfie trend that does not appear to be slowing down any time soon – thousands of visitors have taken pictures of themselves in Kusama’s world of wonder, mostly sharing these moments under the hashtags #YayoiKusama and #InfiniteKusama. The artist has expressed her approval of these media interactions, and she sees them as a kind of infinite extension in the digital air.
Swarovski Kristallwelten
Swarovski Kristallwelten

The most captivating mirror installation on display permanently

Swarovski Kristallwelten has opened the only permanent Kusama installation in the world which can be visited year-round – aside from her gallery which opened in Tokyo in 2017 – starting now. It is now the 17th Chamber of Wonder, located in a building west of the iconic Giant. Kusama is exhibiting one of her
most spectacular mirror installations to date in Wattens, entitled “Chandelier of Grief.” The central element is a rotating chandelier of Swarovski crystal, whose luster comes to life in a room that is completely lined with mirrors. “When we promise visitors to the Swarovski Kristallwelten that they will experience ‘Temporary Enchantment,’ this new Chamber of Wonder is one step closer to making it a reality, and it does this in a very special way,” as Stefan Isser, the managing director of D. Swarovski Tourism Services GmbH, delightfully notes. Carla Rumler, Cultural Director at Swarovski, added: “The new Chamber of Wonder with Kusama’s Infinity Room ‘Chandelier of Grief’ invites visitors to pause for a moment and at the same time creates the illusion of being in an endless space. This sensual and spatial experience has an almost transcendental effect. So I am all the more pleased that our visitors will be able to enjoy this experience for an unlimited time.”

About Yayoi Kusama

The artist was born in 1929 in Japan and studied in Kyoto and at the Art Students’ League in New York. She has worked with many leading luxury brands, including Luis Vuitton. Kusama’s works have been on display in numerous exhibitions, including at famous galleries such as MOMA in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. The artist has been involved in researching and optimizing mirrored spaces since 1965. This was when she created the “Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field,” representing the prototype for a space with walls covered in mirrors that reflect the floor and ceiling endlessly.