12 Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Rooms & Where to Find Them

12 Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Rooms & Where to Find Them

Prepare to be mesmerised!

A few years back, I was vacationing in LA with my family. At the time, my cousins, who were taking me around, insisted that we had to visit The Broad Museum. After doing a little research, I got excited to see one particular installation — Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room, titled The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. Just looking up the location on Instagram, I was bombarded with photo upon photo of dazzling lights that seemed to go on forever.

I’d never heard of the Japanese artist or her work until then. All I knew was that after seeing photos of the installation, I (admittedly not a museum person) was pretty hell-bent on making my way to The Broad and witnessing this mesmerising installation for myself.

Discovering Yayoi Kusama’s world-famous installations

After checking out the museum’s schedule, we made sure to head there as soon as it opened. But just imagine this: We arrived to find a line that extended several blocks away from the museum itself. Who knew everyone would be there that early? Plus, I’d never seen a line for a museum that long before — not even at the Louvre!

But since we were already there, we decided to power through. The sad truth: We had to line up for three whole hours — and when we finally entered, it turned out that you had to reserve a slot to get to see the Infinity Mirror Room. Yes, even if visitors were only given one whole minute inside the room, there were, apparently, no more slots left. Who was this Yayoi Kusama chick anyway, I wondered? I’d never even heard of her before — was her work really that popular?

I did happen to catch a quick glimpse right before someone entered the room, though! Ever since then, every time I would see her name, or the words ‘Infinity Mirror Room’, they would immediately jump out at me. I soon discovered just how renowned and talented this Japanese artist truly was. 

Who is Yayoi Kusama?

yayoi kusama

Image credit: Susanne Nilsson

One of the world’s most influential contemporary artists, Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Japan in 1929. The 90-year-old artist is particularly known for her sculptures and installations — most notably, her Infinity Mirror Rooms. Take a look at her work, and you’ll notice one recurring element: dots, and lots of them! Some would describe Kusama’s work as “trippy”, and what’s really interesting is that this description isn’t actually far from the truth.

Behind the dots

At the young age of 10, Kusama started experiencing vivid hallucinations. During one particular episode, she was in a field of flowers, which started speaking to her. The flowers, whose heads were like dots, seemed to multiply and go on ceaselessly. Kusama shared that she felt as though she was disappearing, or as she likes to say, ‘self-obliterating’, into this endless field of dots.

Her art was her escape, and at the same time, how she made sense of her hallucinations. Her Infinity Mirror Rooms, in particular, are her way of allowing others to share in this experience of ‘self-obliteration’. In addition to her sculptures and paintings, Kusama been creating these installations since the 1960s — way before the age of Instagram! Today, the artist has an entire five-storey museum dedicated to her work — the Yayoi Kusama Museum first opened its doors in Shinjuku, Tokyo in 2017.

The very first Infinity Mirror Room

Kusama showcased her very first Infinity Room in New York City, where she lived for almost 15 years. An interesting fact about her big move to NYC? She actually sought advice from one of her inspirations — Georgia O’Keeffe, who encouraged her to move to America and put her work out there for as many people to see. How cool is that?

Eventually, Kusama checked herself into a psychiatric hospital, and has been residing there since 1977. Her studio is actually just across the street! Since then, the artist has had numerous exhibits across the globe, and several of her Infinity Mirror Rooms have found permanent homes in various parts of the world. At one particular show in a New York City gallery, visitors actually lined up for six entire hours just to spend 60 seconds inside one of her installations!

Also read: 5 Must-See Tokyo Museums for Every Kind of Art Fan

Below, I’ve put together a list of places where you can experience Yayoi Kusama’s mesmerising Infinity Mirror Rooms. Hopefully, one day, I’ll have a chance to see at least one of them in real life!

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms and where to find them

1. Brilliance of the Souls — Nusantara, Jakarta

Image credit: Museum MACAN

After being part of a time-limited exhibition at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Museum MACAN), this vibrant installation was brought back to the museum due to popular demand. A beautiful play of colour created with mirrors and LED lights, Brilliance of the Souls was given a bigger and permanent home at the Museum Macan in March 2019.

Visitors are only given 20 seconds to be inside the room, and pictures or videos may only be taken with your mobile phones. Take note that you’ll need to purchase tickets in advance, so make sure to find a specific time and date that works with your schedule! You may buy tickets online or on-site — tickets cost Rp50,000 (SGD4.85) for adults, Rp40,000 (SGD 3.88) for students and senior citizens, and Rp30,000 (SGD2.91) for children between three and 12 years old.

Address: AKR Tower Level M, Jl. Perjuangan No.5, RT.11/RW.10, Kb. Jeruk, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 11530, Indonesia

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm

2. Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens —  Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

infinity mirror room: Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens

If there’s another thing you should know about Yayoi Kusama, it’s that pumpkins are another of her obsessions! Located in the National Gallery of Australia, Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens is a combination of her fixation with both pumpkins and dots. This bright yellow room is covered in black dots, and at the centre, you’ll find a camouflaged ‘peep-show’ mirror box. Peek into the peephole and witness what seems to be a sea of pumpkins multiplying endlessly!

Here’s the great news — admission to the National Gallery of Australia is free!

Also read: The ONE Thing You Didn’t Know About Each of Australia’s 6 States and 2 Territories

Address: Parkes Pl E, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

3. Gleaming Lights of the Souls — Humlebæk, Denmark

This dazzling installation at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, titled Gleaming Lights of the Souls, offers visitors an immersive experience. Inside the four-square metre room, the floor is a reflecting pool; in the middle of the water, there is a marked platform placed specifically for the viewer to stand on. The walls and ceilings are covered with mirrors, and around 100 lamps (which closely resemble ping pong balls) are suspended from the ceiling. The lamps change colours continuously, and seem to go on into infinity. How amazing is that?

Fortunately, there’s no need to pre-book slots to witness this installation. In fact, on weekdays, visitors can even walk into this Infinity Mirror Room without having to wait! Admission is free for visitors under 18, while they cost DKK 110 (SGD22.07) for students and DKK 125 (SGD25.07) for adults.

Address: Gl Strandvej 13, 3050 Humlebæk, Denmark

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm

4. Fireflies on Water — Nancy, France

Situated in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, Fireflies on Water is a dotted-light installation that was carefully put together with lights, mirrors, and water. Similar to Gleaming Lights of the Souls, this one is a small room with mirrors on the walls and ceilings, while there is about two inches of water on the ground. Amazingly, this breathtaking sea of lights is just made up of 150 small beads of light. Inside this Infinity Mirror Room, you’ll feel almost as though you’re floating through a sky filled with stars!

Regular admission to the museum costs €7 (SGD10.49), while tickets for senior citizens as well as those aged 12 to 25 cost €4.5 (SGD6.75). Admission is free for children under 12. Plus, if you schedule your visit on the first Sunday of the month, entry is free for visitors of all ages!

Address: 3 Place Stanislas, 54000 Nancy, France

Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 10am to 6pm

5. The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away — Los Angeles, California

The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away by yayoi kusama

Image credit: The Broad

Meet The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away  — the installation at The Broad that started my obsession with Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. Little did I know back then that this is actually one of Kusama’s most famous works. You might even recognise it from Adele’s When We Were Young music video!

This room is put together just like the works mentioned previously — the walls are mirrored, and the floor is covered in a layer of water. There’s also a marked platform from which visitors are invited to admire the twinkling, multi-coloured strobe lights that hang from the ceiling at different lengths. As the lights are reflected back and forth from mirror to mirror, viewers will witness a vision of seemingly infinite lights! Visitors are given 45 seconds inside this Infinity Mirror Room.

General admission to The Broad is free — you can get your tickets on-site, or by making an advanced booking online. Upon entering the museum, head to the iPad kiosk in the lobby to secure your spot in the first-come, first-served virtual queue for The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.

Address: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

Hours: Tuesday to Wednesday, 11am to 5pm; Thursday to Friday, 11am to 8pm; Saturday, 10am to 8pm; Sunday, 10am to 6pm

6. Longing for Eternity — Los Angeles, California

infinity mirror room: longing for eternity

Image credit: The Broad

As The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away was such a hit, The Broad acquired a second Infinity Mirror Room three years later. Longing for Eternity doesn’t offer your typical Infinity Mirror Room experience — it’s actually a small hexagonal chamber with little windows for viewers to peer into.

As you look into the mirror-lined chamber, you’ll find a boundless, kaleidoscope-like landscape filled with colourful lights. An interesting addition to this installation? You’ll also see yourself (and two other viewers, if any) mirrored in the endless reflections!

Admission for Longing for Eternity is free — and thankfully, lines to see this installation are actually quite short! 

Address: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

Hours: Tuesday to Wednesday, 11am to 5pm; Thursday to Friday, 11am to 8pm; Saturday, 10am to 8pm; Sunday, 10am to 6pm

7. Infinity Dots Mirrored Room — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Infinity Dots Mirrored Room at The Mattress Factory is a little something different. This Infinity Mirror Room features a series of narrow mirrors that line its walls and ceiling; the floor, on the other hand, is covered in polka dots of varying colours. With countless reflections, it’s almost dizzying — you’ll hardly be able to tell where everything begins and ends!

Admission to The Mattress Factory costs $20 (SGD27.19) for adults and $15 (SGD20.39) for students and senior citizens; entrance is free for children under six years old.

Address: 500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, United States

Hours: Tuesday, 10am to 5pm; Wednesday, 10am to 8pm; Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

8. You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies — Phoenix, Arizona

infinity mirror room: You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies

Image credit: Phoenix Art Museum

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Yayoi Kusama’s installation is one of the best-loved works at the Phoenix Art Museum. You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies is quite a magical sight. Stepping inside this Infinity Mirror Room is like setting foot in a limitless field of fireflies — and interestingly, it’s actually inspired by a Japanese folk tale that involves just that!

Ticket prices for entry to the Phoenix Art Museum vary depending on their ongoing exhibits. Tickets range from $18 to $23 (SGD24.47 to SGD31.27) for adults, $15 to $20 (SGD20.39 to SGD27.19) for senior citizens, $13 to $18 (SGD17.67 to SGD24.47) for students, and free to $14 (SGD19.03) for children.

Address: 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States

Hours: Tuesday, 10am to 5pm; Wednesday, 10am to 9pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Sunday, 12pm to 5pm

9. Love is Calling — Boston, Massachusetts

At the Institute of Contemporary Art, Love is Calling is Yayoi Kusama’s largest and most immersive Infinity Mirror Room. This dark, spacious room is illuminated by glowing inflatable forms that emerge from both the floor and the ceiling; covered in polka dots, these tentacle-like forms gradually change colours. As you walk through the installation, you will also hear a sound recording of Yayoi Kusama herself reciting one of her very own love poems in Japanese!

Timed tickets are required to view Love is Calling. General admission to the museum costs $15 (SGD20.39) for adults, $13 (SGD17.67) for senior citizens, and $10 (SGD13.59) for students. No extra charges are required for entrance to the Infinity Mirror Rooms — just make sure to make your reservations in advance. Tickets tend to get sold out for this one!

Address: 25 Harbor Shore Dr, Boston, MA 02210, United States

Hours: Tuesday to Wednesday, 10am to 5pm; Thursday to Friday, 10am to 9pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

10. My Heart is Dancing into the Universe — Bentonville, Arkansas

At the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, you’ll find this psychedelic Infinity Mirror Room that features dots upon dots (upon dots, and so on). My Heart is Dancing into the Universe features a small room with mirrors on every surface, filled with polka-dotted paper lanterns that change colours. The mirrors create the illusion that the dots are coming closer and closer, and continue to expand as they approach you!

Only one to two people are allowed at this Infinity Mirror Room at one time; visitors have a total of 90 seconds inside. You will have to secure a ticket in order to view this installation. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis; you can reserve yours via phone, online, or at Guest Services at the museum’s main lobby. Tickets are free when reserved on the day of your visit; you may also make advanced reservations for $1 (SGD1.36)!

Address: 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712, United States

Hours: Monday, 11am to 6pm; Wednesday to Friday, 11am to 9pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm

11. Light of Life — Raleigh, North Carolina

light of life infinity mirror room

Image credit: NCMALearn

Similar to Longing for Eternity at The Broad, Light of Life at the North Carolina Museum of Art is not the kind of Infinity Mirror Room you step into. This mirrored hexagonal box measures seven square feet, and has three portholes located at varying heights. Up to three viewers may look inside this enclosed Infinity Mirror Room at one time. Here, you will witness a kaleidoscopic display of varying lights and colours — along with seemingly endless reflections of yourself and your fellow viewers. Would you believe there are only around 150 lights inside this installation?

Those of you hoping to view this installation will be pleased: admission is free!

Address: 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607, United States

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

12. Let’s Survive Forever — Toronto, Canada

The story behind this installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of my favourites. The museum housed a three-month exhibition featuring one of Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, and a whopping 165,000 visitors bought tickets just to see it! Realising what a hit it was, the art gallery launched a crowdfunding campaign in the hope of acquiring an Infinity Mirror Room of its own. They were able to raise $1.3 million in just 30 days — and finally, Let’s Survive Forever landed a new home in May 2019.

This 400-square foot room features a series of mirrored spheres hanging from the ceiling and arranged on the floor. Its walls, on the other hand, are lined with various mirrors, and a mirrored column sits in the centre of the room. Peek inside to see a seemingly endless field of silver orbs!

A maximum of four people can enter this room at one time; visitors may stay inside for one minute. To view this installation, you’ll need to reserve your slot at the museum’s Kusama Kiosk. We recommend coming by early, as you can only make same-day reservations on a first-come, first-served basis! General admission costs $20 (SGD27.19), while entrance is free for visitors 25 years old and below.

Address: 317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada

Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 10.30am to 5pm; Wednesday and Friday, 10.30am to 9pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10.30am to 5.30pm

BONUS: An entire museum dedicated to Yayoi Kusama in Shinjuku, Tokyo

yayoi kusama museum

Image credit: YouTube/Soto Aivalis

A small building with a polka-dotted facade, the Yayoi Kusama Museum houses an interesting collection of Kusama’s work — from paintings and sculptures to installations and limited-time exhibitions. And what’s more, it’s even got a library and rooftop garden. Plus, a fun fact: The restroom and elevator are like mini Infinity Mirror Rooms!

Something you might want to know before you go: this museum doesn’t have the type of Infinity Mirror Room that you walk through. Like a few of her installations mentioned above, Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity is a mirrored box is the kind meant for viewers to peer through. Take a look inside, and you’ll see what looks like an endless field of glowing polka-dotted pumpkins! It might not be the grandest Infinity Mirror Room on this list, but it’s definitely still one for the books — especially for big Kusama fans.

Unsurprisingly, the Yayoi Kusama Museum is one of Tokyo’s top attractions, making it quite a challenge to score tickets. Reservations for timed tickets must be made online at least two months in advance; tickets go on sale on the first day of every month, so make sure to mark your calendars! Entry costs 1,000 (SGD12.47) for adults and 600 (SGD7.48) for children six to 18 years old.

Address: 107 Bentencho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0851, Japan

Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 5.30pm

Also read: How I Spent a Magical Day at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo

There’s something about pretty lights and mesmerising colours, but I love that Yayoi Kusama’s work goes way beyond that. Through her immersive installations, she somehow reminds me that despite being but a small dot in this vast universe, I am one of the many, significant elements that make it what it is.

About Author

Gabriella Salud
Gabriella Salud

With the intention of pursuing a career in medicine, Gaby got her bachelor of science degree in psychology—and proceeded to follow her passion for writing instead. A former editorial assistant at Metro Society magazine, she loves to hear people's stories and tell them through her writing.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Gabriella Salud



Related Posts