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Review: Love is Calling is calling for visitors

Kusama%27s+work+is+currently+on+display+at+the+Tampa+Museum+of+Art+in+one+of+her+trademark+%22Infinity+Rooms.%22
Kusama's work is currently on display at the Tampa Museum of Art in one of her trademark

Kusama's work is currently on display at the Tampa Museum of Art in one of her trademark "Infinity Rooms."

Photo Anna Woodward

Photo Anna Woodward

Kusama's work is currently on display at the Tampa Museum of Art in one of her trademark "Infinity Rooms."

Anna Woodward, Staff Writer

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This isn’t what you’d expect. When you think of love, you think of hearts, flowers and love letters. However, Yayoi Kusama’s installment Love is Calling contrasts your expectations relating to the word “love”.

Kusama’s work is currently on display at the Tampa Museum of Art in one of her trademark “Infinity Rooms”, which are named after their mirrored walls. Her works have been displayed across the globe, including in Tokyo, New York City, and London.

I went to visit the exhibit on a Tuesday after school, and it was the perfect setting. Not only was the museum pretty empty, it also made getting into the exhibit much easier. After waiting in a line, a small group of people go into the room for around two minutes. While this sounds like a short amount of time, it stills gives you enough time to take pictures and explore the room.

Right before you go into the exhibit, there is an option to put your belongings in cubbies, something that lets you focus more on the art itself and not carrying your bags.

When you buy a ticket for the exhibit, you have a 30 minute time slot to wait in line and visit the exhibit. If you have time left over, you can wait again and go back in. I liked this setup because it gives you an opportunity to go back if you feel like you didn’t experience the exhibit thoroughly.

The contrast between the waiting area and the room itself makes the exhibit more awe-inspiring once you get inside. The waiting area is painted in white and has blank walls, juxtaposing with the bright and detailed sculptures inside. This made me feel even more impressed by the actual exhibit, because it was such a change from what I had previously been looking at.

The exhibit itself is definitely worth the wait. The room is covered in bright, tentacle-shaped sculptures in every color of the rainbow. The structures range in size, but share the same shape. The colors also change, which constantly affects how the room looks.

The mirrors on all the walls give the experience many different perspectives as well. Because of these mirrors, you almost forget that you’re in a confined space. Not only do the mirrors make the room look bigger than it is, but it masks the doors into and out of the room. I was told is that if you go into one of the corners of the room, you can see three versions of yourself due to the mirrors.

While you’re in the room, there is a recording of Kusama reading her poem, “Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears,” in Japanese. Once you step out of the room, there is a translation of the poem, and it is definitely an interesting read.

Despite being a very colorful and seemingly extensive piece, the room conveyed a feeling of relaxation. Focusing on something as simple as colors and shape really helps you slow down, and gives you time to think about what you’re really looking at. Even the poem being read reminds me of a relaxing audiobook.

The museum staff is very helpful, and good at making visitors informed about the room. It was because of them that it was easy to go thoroughly through the exhibit and stay informed.

I would definitely recommend this exhibit to anyone with an interest in art, photography, or just looking for something to do. Entrance to the exhibit is included with a ticket to the museum, so you can look around before or after going to the room. I would personally recommend going during the weekday, because only a number of people are allowed in the room at a time, the only difference would be the wait.

The mirrored walls, colorful tentacle-like objects, and the engaging atmosphere all make for a worthy break from daily life. Love is Calling is a thought-provoking exhibit, and will be sure to call me back again.

 

A pamphlet given by the museum gives more information about the exhibit.

If you go:

120 Gasparilla Plaza

The exhibit will be on display from September 28, 2018 to February 14, 2018.

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, Thursday 10:00am-8:00pm, and Saturday, Sunday 1o:00am-5:00pm.

More information is available at tampamuseum.org

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Review: Love is Calling is calling for visitors