Expanding upon her lifelong obsession with the dissolution of the self into the infinite, Yayoi Kusama created “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” the year of her 80th birthday. Viewers are invited to step into the room and stand on the central platform. Over time a delicate, shimmering mirage unfolds, as an array of lights ignites and is mirrored on every surface of the all-encompassing environment. In less than a minute, however, all light disappears, and then the cycle starts anew. Kusama explains: “Life is what I always try to understand—its depths and its mystique of rise and fall. I struggle for it throughout my life. From day to day, I understand the greatness brought by this mystique as well as that love is eternal and keeps appearing and disappearing. And what is more, I am very pleased to be alive after realizing that I have overcome this everyday life and been able to reach today. Yet we keep flashing, disappearing, and again blossoming out in this Eternity.”

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Yayoi Kusama, Japanese, born 1929
Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity
Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic paint, LED lighting system, and water, edition 3/3
Overall: 163 1/2 × 163 1/2 × 113 1/4 in. (415.3 × 415.3 × 287.7 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
Installation Art

The artist; [David Zwirner Gallery, New York]; purchased by MFAH, 2016.