Yayoi Kusama: the Prominent Japanese Artist With an Eccentric Style

  • Yayoi Kusama is a prominent Japanese contemporary artist who produces artwork which heavily features polka dots. Hence, she is also referred to as the Princess of Polka Dots. Now at the age of 86, she still sports an eccentric fashion sense and often dons bright-colored wigs.

    Personal Life and Struggles With Mental Illness


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    Yayoi Kusama is said to dislike the rigidity of the Japanese art scene in which students are expected to imbibe the art style of their masters. She prefers the avant-garde art styles of America and Europe. While regular people see things as they are, she sees the world as being filled with dots. However, Kusama has said that when she creates her work, she does not forcefully bring polka dots into it, but her work subconsciously becomes filled with polka dots.

    Kusama has shown signs of mental illness since she was a child and she experiences hallucinations which are often in fields of dots. She also suffers from severe obsessive thoughts of which are usually suicidal in nature. Kusama’s parents were disapproving of her desire to be an artist. Her mother once overturned and threw away her paint box and asked Kusama to leave the house. She also claimed that she was severely physically abused by her mother.

    Her psychiatric doctor suggested that to go to America where she could live freely by herself and get away from the negative influence of her family. She had mentioned that when she thought of her life in Kyoto, she felt like vomiting. Kusama lived in New York from 1957 to 1973. Since 1977, she has stayed a residence for the mentally ill in Tokyo and works in a nearby studio.


    These are among the many breathtaking works of art produced by Yayoi Kusama. If you have the opportunity, you may want to go and have a look at some of her amazing artwork in person during her art exhibitions.


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    The Obliteration Room.

    Kusama had said that she would have killed herself if not for art. It is amazing how art can save lives! What do you think of Yayoi Kusama’s work?

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