If you’re in D.C. or if you’re a big art fan, you probably know about Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. In any city this exhibition travels to, it becomes one of the most popular art experiences in that city. From February 23 to May 14, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Rooms is at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.!
For those unfamiliar with Yayoi Kusama, she is a legendary Japanese artist. Her career has spanned over 60 years and she has influenced many other legendary artists, such as Andy Warhol and George Segal. She has dabbled in paintings, collages, sculptures, performance arts, and installations with thematic elements of patterns and psychedelic colors. Ever since she was a young girl, she has been inspired by polka dots and nets in her works. She has even stated that “polka dots are a way to infinity.” Her history is complex and intense, and I would recommend readers take the time to briefly review her story.
Perhaps her most well-known exhibition is the Infinity Mirror Rooms. They are poignant, immersive environments – even if visitors are only allowed 20-30 seconds per room – that allow you to briefly escape reality and transcend time and space . Luckily for us Washingtonians, we have been graced with six of Kusama’s Infinity Rooms alongside a selection of her other major works.
If you’re around D.C. or planning to visit between now and May 14, the Infinity Rooms are a sensory experience that I would highly recommend. As you can imagine, this exhibition has triggered hours-long lines. Free timed admission passes are available; Hirshhorn releases these passes online every Monday at 12pm. Let’s just say that it takes a very precise click to get any of these coveted passes; most of these passes are taken within the first couple of minutes.
Same-day walk-up timed passes are also available, which is how I was able to visit the exhibit. People begin waiting as early as 8am, even though the museum does not open until 10am. There’s a limited number of these passes but if you have a flexible schedule and can line up between 8-9am, you have a high likelihood of securing a pass.
And if you think that’s all the waiting you have to do, think again. Once you secure a pass and are able to get into the exhibit, there are even more lines for each Infinity Room. I would recommend budgeting between 2-3 hours for the entire visit, even more for weekend visits. You only get 20-30 seconds per Infinity Room, but you can find yourself waiting outside each room for quite some time. The most popular rooms (and rooms with the longest lines) are the “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,” “All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins,” and “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity.”
This exhibition is something you have to experience for yourself. I hope to go again at least once more before the exhibit heads off to its next destination. One last recommendation – amidst the snapping of iPhones and DSLRs, try to pause for at least a second or so to take a look at each room when you’re inside.