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Entertainment

A Disorienting Asian Fun House

Inside Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s weird world.
June 3, 2010, 6:25pm

Yayoi Kusama says that the inspiration for all of her beautiful installations came from a daydream in which she sat at a table with a floral tablecloth, in a room with floral wallpaper, and noticed that her hands were covered with flowers. Adding to this initial inspiration, though somewhat terrifyingly, she also claims to have depersonalization syndrome—a disorder in which sufferers are said to feel that their bodies are constantly in a state of flux, or absent altogether, and are sometimes described as seeming like aliens on a first visit to earth. To many of us here, this sounds mortifying; to others, extremely interesting. Thankfully, Kusama’s down-the-rabbit-hole environments simulate this kind of delightful disorientation for us all.