MUM SAYS 6 reasons junior will love Yayoi Kusama's show

The Japanese artist’s sense of fun and playful imagination is a great way to introduce art to your mini-me.

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“During the June holidays, when my son Andreas’ preschool organised a trip to the Children’s Biennale at the National Gallery, I accompanied the group as a parent chaperone. The show was a hit as the kids were able to discover art in a whole new way.

One exhibit that really stands out is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room. What starts out as a completely white room filled with white furniture magically transforms into a colorful and psychedelic space. This is because these young kids/artists are given polka-dot stickers to paste wherever they like. What a brilliant idea! Of course, the kids had a blast!

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Indeed, when I heard that the 88-year-old pop culture icon was debuting her collection that spans seven decades, I was eager to check it out the art of 2015’s world’s most popular artist.

Would it be appropriate for my toddler though, I wondered? The last thing I wanted was my little tyke being on his worst behaviour in public because he was consumed with boredom. But if the Obliteration Room is anything to go by, Kusama’s work might resonate with my kiddo, I thought, so I decided to take my chances.

Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow showcases the avant garde pioneer’s signature splash of polka dots, hypnotic infinity mirror rooms, mesmerising light displays and shiny pumpkin sculptures. It’s a sight to behold ― not just for me, but also my little one.

Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow showcases the avant garde pioneer’s signature splash of polka dots, hypnotic infinity mirror rooms, mesmerising light displays and shiny pumpkin sculptures.

Besides being a little fidgety while waiting in line (there will be lots of queueing, so bring snacks to pass the time), my little man thoroughly enjoyed his visit. It’s been two weeks since his trip, but he’s still talking about it!

If you’re wondering what this exhibition is all about, and how to navigate it, let me break it down for you, so your young ’un will truly enjoy his experience. Here’s a round-up of the top five sections that will truly blow everyone’s mind. Oh, did I mention that it’s going to totally up your Instagram game as well?

Exhibit #1 The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens 
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After walking through a collection of paintings, our first interactive display was the “yellow pumpkin room” as my 3-year-old likes to call it. In the middle of this tiny yellow room filled with black polka-dots sits a large cube. Because it’s covered in mirrors, the cube offers spectacular optical illusions for whomever walks past ― towards or away from it. Andreas thoroughly enjoyed playing peekaboo here. Before you leave, don’t forget to scale the three steps that will lead you to an unassuming opening. Stick your head in and you’ll see thousands of yellow pumpkins. A great use of mirrors to trick the naked eye, I must say. (Photos: www.mutualart.com and www.atoddlerinthetrees.com)

Exhibit #2 Mirror and Infinity  Tots-MUM-SAYS-5-reasons-why-junior-will-love-the-Yayoi-Kusama-exhibition-Mirror-and-infinity
This walkway is literally dotted with curved, round mirrors. They are everywhere ― on every wall and even on the ceiling. My little boy enjoyed walking around, running towards and away from them to watch his reflection change. One minute he was tall, the next short, sometimes he looked squashed and other times he was pudgy. It made him laugh hysterically. Then my hubby carried him over his shoulders, so he could check out the mirrors on the ceiling. It was “so much fun”, he tells me. I will take his word for it. (Photo: Jassmin Peter-Bertnzen)