Kusama's Infinity Rooms Will Be All Over Instagram. Do They Live Up To The Hype?

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms, Tate Modern ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 6 months ago
Kusama's Infinity Rooms Will Be All Over Instagram. Do They Live Up To The Hype? Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms, Tate Modern 4
Filled with the Brilliance of Life: Lose yourself in an explosion of colour.

If you don't know what an infinity room is: firstly, where have you been? and secondly, they're about to be plastered all over your Instagram feed.

The concept is simple enough; Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's mirrored art installations make whatever appears in the room seemingly stretch on forever — stellar lights, a palatial chandelier, and, of course, you.

Chandelier of Grief is centred around a spinning chandelier reflecting off the hexagonal walls; I feel like I'm lost in the most opulent hall of mirrors.

Chandelier of Grief: One opulent hall of mirrors.

Inside Filled With the Brilliance of Life, I stand on a path with water either side, while colour-changing lights stretch off into the distance. It's like floating in space or being in the middle of a stellar explosion.

The temptation here is to snap loads of selfies (and why not, it's allowed) but the true magic is in standing, admiring, receding into a magical dimension of light and colour.

Neither of these rooms are new; the Chandelier of Grief was shown at Victoria Miro in 2016 and the other, at Kusama's major exhibition at Tate Modern in 2012. I was fortunate enough to have visited both, yet here I am, an infinity room veteran, still grinning like an idiot.

A smaller sculpture, in which Kusama toys with colour, light and shape.

Tate also provides photos, a video and a smaller mirrored work to give wider context to Kusama and what she's trying to achieve. Everyone might be taking pictures of themselves, but the infinity rooms are about self-obliteration. When we're inside who we are and what the world looks like outside doesn't matter — we dissolve into nothingness, we all come from stardust, and this is the closest we'll ever come to returning to it.   

Each visitor gets just two minutes in each room, but in that time, you'll be freed from your worldly troubles and leave with a spring in your step.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern is on until 12 June 2022. Tickets are sold out until October, and more will be released in September.

All images © Yayoi Kusama. Photo © Tate (Joe Humphrys)

Last Updated 30 May 2021