The National Gallery of Australia has acquired Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room, The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens 2015.

The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens is an immersive installation where the visitor peers into a world of endless reflection – both physically and conceptually – as distorted yellow pumpkins with black dots are endlessly reflected in the mirrors.


The motif of the dots signifies Kusama’s belief that polka dots are a way to infinity as ‘our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos’, while the endearing yet grotesque form and swift growth of the pumpkin transports her back to her childhood on her family’s nursery.

“It has long-been my ambition to see a major contemporary Japanese artwork housed in Australia’s national collection,” says Andrew Gwinnett, who helped fund the acquisition through the Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett for the Japanese Art Fund.

“Kusama’s playful installation is a legacy that will keep giving for generations to come.”

With a career spanning six decades, 88-year-old Yayoi Kusama has established an instantly recognisable signature aesthetic with her abundant use of polka dots. Kusama is among the world’s most influential contemporary artists and has played a crucial role in the development of art in the late 20th and 21st centuries.