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A photo of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama. It shows a pond with several dozen stainless steel spheres floating on the top of the water.

Daily Helping for June 27th, 2023 – Yayoi Kusama – Narcissus Garden

I recently paid a visit to Naoshima Island, otherwise known as Japan’s art island. And it is appropriately named, because it is an island in the Seto Inland Sea that is famous for its art museums and installations. As such, you would think I would have had a hard time choosing my favourite piece for that day’s daily hart. However, as it turns out, the decision was ridiculously easy. One look at Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama and I knew it would be my favourite.

That was the easy part. Explaining why it was my favourite was going to be a much bigger challenge, because Narcissus Garden was far from the most complicated or technically impressive artwork that I saw that day. In fact, when I first heard about it, I effectively wrote it off as not worth my time, and I almost didn’t see it at all. But I did. And thank goodness I did, because this piece was incredible to experience in person.

Narcissus Garden is basically 1,700 stainless steel spheres placed throughout the Valley Gallery on Naoshima. These balls sit on open grass, within concrete structures, and my personal favourite, on the surface of the water of a pond. I cannot describe to you the beauty of watching these balls float along the surface of the water, while the clicking of them bouncing off each other created an auditory record of the path of the wind. It was extraordinarily beautiful, and I could have watched them all day. Maybe next time I will.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!