Artist: Yayoi Kusama
Location: The Broad Museum, Los Angeles
Admission: Free, but requires an appointment or pre-booking
Duration: 45 Seconds per Visit
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is famous for her eccentric, colorful, and flamboyant displays of art, which she has been creating for the most of her nearly 90 year life. Famous for her immersive creations and polka dots, the Japanese artist has had major impacts on the realms of fashion like her collaboration with design house Louis Vuitton to literature, music, theatre, music, and beyond, making her one of the most influential artists in the world. Her breathtaking, dreamy creation, Infinity Mirrors, is a permanent installation at The Broad in Los Angeles, California, one of her only 5 permanent exhibits in the world.
Infinity Mirrors is a fully immersive installation which consists of walking into a small room with a catwalk, surrounded by raised, mirrored flooring. The walls and ceiling are entirely covered in a mirrored surface, as is the door that viewers enter through. Small, twinkling LED lights hang from the ceiling at seemingly random intervals, and help to create a celestial atmosphere. Upon entering this small space, I wondered at the great mind that came up with this, because it was truly breathtaking. During one of my physics classes, we had discussed what an empty room made entirely of mirrors would look like, and I think I finally have as close to an answer as I’ll ever get – it’s beautiful.
Although the entire experience of Infinity Mirrors within the room is limited to a brief 45 seconds, it felt to me as though time stood still, as I contemplated how something so beautiful, so infinite, could occupy such a small, confined space, and I was inspired by the thought that perhaps our potential, no matter how small we may feel at times, is as limitless as our universe, so long as we continue to push ourselves.
To experience Infinity Mirrors, guests must first enter the museum by appointment (which I recommend doing at least a month in advance), or by waiting in a will-call line. Then, once inside The Broad, make a sharp left, and book an appointment for the installation at the iPad kiosk near the gift shop, where an attendant will take your information, help you schedule your time, and set up automatic texts to notify you when it’s your turn. The wait time often exceeds 6 hours for the will-call line (if it’s even an option), however the museum is expansive and immersive, so it isn’t hard to burn up that time enjoying the other works of art at The Broad. Visitors are only allowed to experience the installation once per visit to the museum, which means you can’t get back in line to see it again. You can decide to either go in alone, or in groups of up to 4, but even if there’s more than one person, the experience will still only be 45 seconds, so make sure your cameras are ready. Guests of the exhibit must remain on the unmirrored flooring to ensure their safety, and must not touch the installation.
Another of Yayoi Kusama’s works is on display at this museum, Longing for Eternity, which is flirtatiously similar to Infinity Mirrors, but rather than being experienced from the inside, is something that viewers may gaze upon from the outside, much as you’re doing now with this blog post. Longing for Eternity is a roughly 5′ x 5′ box filled with mirrors and LED lights, with small holes that allows guests to peer into the infinite universe created by the artist.
Be sure to book your tickets at least a month or two in advance of your visit, because many locations have had this experience entirely book up within hours of tickets going on sale.