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Yayoi Kusama lives in a psychiatric institution, which she entered voluntarily in 1977. She is now in her nineties and still works every single day. Known for her repeated dot patterns, her work has been marked with obsessiveness and a desire to escape from trauma. In this video, I show that despite her quirky personality and her status as the most popular artist in the world, she is one of the most radical artists of all time.
This is not a film about a specific artwork. This is a film about the simple polka dot. A dot that has obsessed Kusama for nine decades, from her struggle for recognition, to her later years as an art world sensation.
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I would like to thank all my Patreon supporters, in particular Alan Stewart, Alexander Velser, David Abreu, Christa Sawyer, Griffin Edwards, Jennifer Baranaby, Kibbi Shaw, Nicholas Siebenlist, Paul Ark, Pau Waterman, Pawel Juszczyk, Theresa Garfink, Toni Ko, and Tyler Wittreich.
”What a brilliant series this is” – Stephen Fry on Twitter 12 December 2020
I input the English subtitles myself but I rely on volunteers to do subtitles for other languages and I really appreciate it – just contact me at
Chinese subtitles by Charles Xue
French subtitles: Ludivine Desriac
German Subtitles: Victoria Drabik
Title Sequence by Brian Adsit (instagram and Behance www.behance.com/badsit88)
All the videos, songs, images, and graphics used in the video belong to their respective owners and I or this channel does not claim any right over them.
TV and FILMS
Atomic bomb –
Anti-war footage –
Yayoi Kusama by Frances Morris
Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama (Lives of the Artists) by Robert Shore
Music: Jazz –
”Theme” music: – www.bensound.com” or ”Royalty Free Music from Bensound”
All works are © Yayoi Kusama/ Yayoi Kusama Studio, Inc
© Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York.
© Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.
Footage © Tate
Footage © Bloomberg
All Artworks © YAYOI KUSAMA
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.