Pop Art: Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin in Naoshima

Naoshima, Yayoi Kusama

Pop Art: Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin in Naoshima

Naoshima, Yayoi Kusama

A yellow pumpkin dotted in black, the icon of Naoshima island

If asked about Pop Art, who’s the first artist that comes up to mind? I bet it’s Andy Warhol, probably followed by Roy Lichstenstein. But would you associate Pop Art with Japan?

Truth is that Yayoi Kusama, one of the most acclaimed Japanese artists, is a precursor of Pop Art and she influenced Andy Warhol as well as Claes Oldenburg. Her yellow pumpkin, dotted in black, has become somehow the icon of Naoshima, the Japanese island transformed in a cradle of modern and contemporary art.

Arriving at Miyanoura Port by ferry, you’ll see Kusama’s red dotted pumpkin just a few steps from the terminal. However, the yellow and most famous pumpkin is showcased on the pier facing the Benesse Hotel, the most famous (and expensive) accommodation on Naoshima island. Overlooking the sea, with the surrounding islands as a backdrop, it’s no wonder that Yayoi Kusama’s yellow pumpkin has become in a way the island symbol.

  • Corinne Johnston
    Posted at 04:54h, 14 January Reply

    How did you get around the island? Buses or hire a vehicle?

    • Simon
      Posted at 18:47h, 25 January Reply

      I went around by bus without problems. Anyway, the island is not too big, and Japanese people always ready to help if you get lost šŸ™‚

  • Priya Vin
    Posted at 20:52h, 09 October Reply

    Love this vibrant yellow pumpkin capture… I love modern art and pop art. Excited that Yayoi Kusama’s pumpkins are visiting Dallas this fall!

  • Pingback:Naoshima, The Art Island
    Posted at 22:34h, 01 April Reply

    […] The pop yellow pumpkin overlooking the beach, by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, is probably the most photographed spot in Naoshima, but the island is disseminated with open air-sculptures and installations, harmoniously blending with the surrounding landscape. My first stop was the Benesse House Museum, integrating a remarkable collection into an exclusive hotel. Designed by Tadao Ando, one of the most famous architects from Japan, Benesse House showcases some beautiful pieces of contemporary art by acclaimed artists like Jannis Kounellis, Jasper Johns, Sam Francis, Yukinori Yanagi, Cy Twombly and more. […]

  • Pingback:Art is a kind of illness | kathyjiang
    Posted at 23:52h, 19 June Reply

    […] Yayoi Kusama yellow Pumpkin […]

  • Jeremy
    Posted at 10:03h, 21 April Reply

    This stands out against its backdrop in a stunning manner … excellent photo!

    • Simon Falvo
      Posted at 21:50h, 21 April Reply

      Thank you, Jeremy. Glad you like the photo! šŸ™‚

  • Corinne
    Posted at 15:14h, 30 March Reply

    Simon…gorgeous! I love pop art, and I certainly love this one.

  • David
    Posted at 09:56h, 30 March Reply

    Wow. Amazing picture.
    Will you show us more about Naoshima?
    I hope so.

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