yayoi kusama’s whimsical artworks land in qatar for outdoor show

‘my soul blooms forever’ opens at the museum of islamic art

In time for tea World Cup tournament in Doha, the Qatar Museums institution just announced the launch of ‘My Soul Blooms Forever,’ an expansive outdoor exhibition showcasing iconic artworks by the celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. On view at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) until March 1st, 2023, the Louis Vuitton-sponsored exhibition celebrates the artist’s fascination with the natural world through sculptural installations of fantastically-scaled plants and iconic polka-dotted pumpkins. Among these artworks are several large-scale pieces that have never been shown in the region until now.


‘Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees’ (’02-’22) © Yayoi Kusama – ‘My Soul Blooms Forever’, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, 19.11.2022 – 01.03.2023 | image © Iwan Baan, courtesy David Zwirner, Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro

the yayoi kusama show celebrates qatar’s cultural movement

‘My Soul Blooms Forever’ marks the tenth anniversary of the ‘Years of Culture’ program and takes part in ‘Qatar Creates,’ a year-round national movement that curates, celebrates, and promotes cultural activities within the country. Qatar Museums (see more here) displayed Yayoi Kusama’s nine creations alongside 40 other public artworks celebrating Qatari, regional, and international artists.

The grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art have become a favorite outdoor gathering place in Doha, marked by an array of public artworks that range from playful to iconic. With these new installations by Yayoi Kusama — one of the world’s most visionary artists — MIA Park has been magically transformed for the people we are welcoming from around the world for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,’ commented Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums.

yayoi kusama's whimsical artworks land in qatar for expansive outdoor exhibition
‘Flowers That Speak All about My Heart Given to the Sky’ (2018) © Yayoi Kusama | image © Iwan Baan

from fantastically-scaled plants to polka-dotted pumpkins

Highlights of the exhibition include Kusama’s most characteristic works developed across the years. The first one, ‘I Want to Fly to the Universe’ (2020), adorns the museum entrance as a starfish-like sculpture, followed by ‘My Soul Blooms Forever’ (2019), a set of five whimsical and brightly-colored flowers over six feet high. Meanwhile, ‘Dancing Pumpkin’ (2020) represents a new format for the artist, with bronze tufts spread more than 16 feet from the center, giving the impression of being in motion; this work has never been shown in the region.

‘Narcissus Garden,’ first presented in 1966 at the 33rd Venice Biennale, also makes an appearance — comprising 1,300 stainless-steel spheres installed within the fountain at the entrance to the museum. Wrapping up the outdoor show is Kusama’s ‘Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees’ (2002/2022), installed in the MIA Park, lined by dozens of date palms planted on each side of the path that runs along Doha’s Corniche. Last but not least, visitors can head to the Qatar Museum’s Gallery Al Riwaq to catch ‘Infinity Mirrored Room – Dancing Lights that Flew Up to the Universe’ (2019). The latter unfolds as an enclosed, mirror-paneled room with hundreds of LED flickering lights suspended at varying heights.

yayoi kusama's whimsical artworks land in qatar for expansive outdoor exhibition
‘I Want to Fly to the Universe’ (2020) © Yayoi Kusama | image courtesy Qatar Museums

yayoi kusama's whimsical artworks land in qatar for expansive outdoor exhibition
‘Flowers That Speak All about My Heart Given to the Sky’ (2018) © Yayoi Kusama | image courtesy Qatar Museums

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