Yayoi Kusama: Where the Lights in My Heart Go

Yayoi Kusama: Where the Lights in My Heart Go, 2016
Click images for larger view
On View Jul 05, 2018 - Oct 28, 2018
Pollack Family
Exhibition Location: Pollack Terrace

For nearly seventy years, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has focused on themes of eternity, the sublime, and the cosmos. Her paintings, sculptures, performances, and installations are characterized by an obsessive application of patterns—particularly polka dots—inspired by vivid childhood hallucinations that blended her perception of herself and the world around her. She imagines that by covering objects with this repetitive dot motif, they will “self-obliterate and return to the nature of the universe.” Kusama began her renowned Infinity Mirror Rooms series in the early 1960s. These immersive environments use mirrors to create the dizzying effect of an expansive, never-ending space.

This summer and fall, one of Kusama’s acclaimed Infinity Mirror Rooms will be installed outdoors at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, marking the first time one of these enchanting artworks has been shown in the Boston area. Where the Lights in My Heart Go (2016) is a ten-by-ten-foot polished stainless steel chamber with a mirrored interior. Small holes in the walls and ceiling allow natural light to penetrate the darkened room. Multiplied by the reflective surfaces, these pinpricks of glowing light create a celestial experience when visitors step inside. Kusama calls the work a “subtle planetarium,” an intimate and enclosed space that also gives the illusion of a continuously expanding universe.

Support for this special presentation is generously provided by Lauren and Derek Goodman, James and Sabra Alden, Nina and David Fialkow, Kumi and Bill Martin, Andrei Soran, and Marc and Charlotte Zawel.


  • ​Your regular admission fee includes access to Where the Lights in My Heart Go during regular museum hours. No additional tickets are needed to visit this exhibition. However, lines may be lengthy, so please plan your visit accordingly.
  • This sculpture is activated by daylight and is best enjoyed on a sunny day. The sculpture may be unavailable during inclement weather.
  • The installation is designed to accommodate up to two visitors at a time. When a line to enter the installation has formed, viewing time is limited to one minute. 
  • Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult inside the installation.
  • To preserve this fragile artwork, visitors will be required to wear protective booties over their shoes. Gloves may also be provided and required for entry.
  • Purses, handbags, backpacks, and other personal items will not be allowed inside the installation. Visitors will be able to temporarily and safely store these items outside of the installation.
  • Cell phones and hand-held cameras are allowed inside the installation at the discretion of Visitor Services staff. Please be aware that the interior floor and walls are delicate and can be damaged if a device is dropped.
  • While deCordova is committed to providing accessibility to all visitors and welcomes wheelchairs throughout the Park and Museum, this specific installation is not accessible by wheelchair. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Yayoi Kusama studied at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, Kyoto. She had her first solo exhibition in 1952 in Japan and in 1957, traveled to the United States, where she was involved in the avant-garde art scene in New York City. Her work is in the permanent collections of major museums, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, a traveling exhibition of her work organized by the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, from July 7 – September 30, 2018. Kusama currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.