Yayoi Kusama’s obliteration room comes to Tate Modern this summer

Image credit: Yayoi Kusama, ‘The Obliteration Room’ 2002-present at Tate Modern, 2012. Image (c) Tate photography

Image credit: Yayoi Kusama, ‘The Obliteration Room,’ 2002-present at Tate Modern, 2012. Image (c) Tate photography

LONDON – This summer, Tate Modern invites visitors of all ages to help transform a blank white apartment into a sea of colorful dots. Yayoi Kusama’s The obliteration room opens on July 23 as part of UNIQLO Tate Play, Tate Modern’s free program of playful art-inspired activities for families. As well as having a chance to cover every available surface of the installation with bright circular stickers, families will also be able to create their own work of art to add to an ever-growing garden in the Turbine Hall. The obliteration room will be on display until August 29.

The obliteration room is one of Kusama’s most ambitious interactive works. Originally commissioned by the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia, the installation consists of a completely white space fully furnished with entirely white furniture. Visitors are handed a sticker sheet of colorful dots with which to leave their mark on this stark interior, which slowly becomes transformed into a riot of color. The work reflects Kusama’s enduring obsessions with accumulation, obliteration and becoming one with the artwork.

Image credit: Yayoi Kusama, ‘The Obliteration Room’ 2002-present at Tate Modern, 2012. Image (c) Tate photography

Image credit: Yayoi Kusama, ‘The Obliteration Room,’ 2002-present at Tate Modern, 2012. Image (c) Tate photography

Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Yayoi Kusama came to international attention in 1960s New York for a wide-ranging creative practice that has encompassed installation, painting, sculpture, fashion design and writing. The artist has been the subject of exhibitions around the world, including a major traveling retrospective initiated by Tate Modern in 2012 and the recently extended exhibition of Infinity Mirror Rooms, now open until June 11, 2023. Since the 1970s Kusama has lived in Tokyo, where she continues to work prolifically and to international acclaim.

Image credit: Yayoi Kusama, ‘The Obliteration Room’ 2002-present at Tate Modern, 2012. Image (c) Tate photography

Image credit: Yayoi Kusama, ‘The Obliteration Room,’ 2002-present at Tate Modern, 2012. Image (c) Tate photography

UNIQLO Tate Play was launched in 2021 with the hugely popular installation Ei Arakawa’s Mega Please Draw Freely, in which families could draw all over the floor of the Turbine Hall. New projects are staged each school holiday, alongside free activities and creative materials during term time.

Always taking inspiration from the artists and artworks on display at Tate Modern, UNIQLO Tate Play offers families new ways to play together and get creative, with more than 147,000 people having taken part so far.

Visit the website of Tate Modern.