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Fireflies on the Water


Yayoi Kusama, Fireflies on the Water, 2002. Mirror, plexiglass, 150 lights, and water, 111 × 144 1/2 × 144 1/2 in. (281.9 × 367 × 367 cm) overall. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Postwar Committee and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of Betsy Wittenborn Miller  2003.322a-tttttttt
In installations that she calls Infinity Mirror Rooms, Yayoi Kusama has explored how to depict infinite space. Fireflies on the Water is composed of 150 tiny lights hang over a shallow pool of water in a small room whose walls are covered with mirrors. The combination of direct and reflected light creates a magical effect: space appears infinite, with no top or bottom, beginning or end. If you entered this mirrored space, you would see endless images of yourself, reflected into the distance. The work creates the feeling of being everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

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In this video a visitor experiences Fireflies on the Water (2002), an installation in which Yayoi Kusama explores ideas of the infinite.

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