by Sukanya GargMay 23, 2019
'Love is Calling', one of Yayoi Kusama’s 20 existing Infinity Rooms, created in the year 2013, has been acquired by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The work is now the largest 'Infinity Mirror Room' piece by the artist to be owned by a North American museum. The work will be opened for viewing at the museum in the fall of this year.
This is the artist’s second work to enter the collection of the Institute of Contemporary Art, the first being a 1953 drawing by the artist titled 'A Flower' (No. 14). With respect to Infinity Mirror Rooms, 'Love is Calling' is the second major room to be located in the Boston area. 'Where the Lights in My Heart Go', a 2016 work, is the other Infinity Room which was on view at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, from July to October 2018.
The work was purchased from the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea, New York, where it was first displayed in 2013. Back then, the work had drawn large audiences, with extensive lines formed outside the gallery for the viewing. Wait times were believed to have exceeded four hours.
The Infinity Mirror Room was also displayed at an exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. in 2017. That exhibition also travelled to other parts of the US, including the Broad in Los Angeles and the Seattle Art Museum; however, the work 'Love is Calling' was not displayed in every iteration of the travelling show. The installation was on display at the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida till February 14, 2019.
'Love is Calling' includes colourful, polka-dotted inflatable sculptures, located on the floor and the ceiling of the infinity room. Inside the room, one can hear Kusama’s voice reciting a Japanese love poem written by her. That poem’s title translates to 'Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears.' The poem explores the themes of love, life and death.
Jill Medvedow, the ICA Boston’s director said about the work, “'Love is Calling' showcases the breadth of the artist’s visual vocabulary - from her signature polka dots and soft sculptures, brilliant colours and the spoken word, to endless reflections and illusions of space and self. We are very grateful to our generous donors who made this acquisition possible, and look forward to sharing this immersive experience with our visitors for years to come.”