Kusama Yayoi is a world famous Japanese artist who has worked in a wide variety of media. Since the 90's we can observe growing fascination with Kusama's works, as well as its recognition and rediscovering. The phenomenon is better known as "The Kusama Renaissance". As a still living and creating artist, she constantly tries to advance forward, despite living in isolated world of mental institution. Nowadays, "The Kusama Renaissance" transcends boarders of Japan and USA, where the artist was mainly working. This article explains the circumstances in which Kusama in 60's and 70's years in USA stir up cultural revolution. Her actions became a mirror reflecting social anxieties and opposition to the war in Vietnam and the government. She found her mission in proclaiming free love, peace and tolerance to the society. In attempt of finding out the relationship between those subversive activities and her literature I will examine her literary activity after she came back to Japan in the mid 70's and try to describe the world in which - like Jean Genet - "she makes the filth shine." I will also show, how she saves her characters - social outcasts, underdogs - from the hardships of existence and the entire universe by the concept of self-obliteration.
Pawel Pachciarek, Osaka University, Japan
Stream: Cultural Studies
This paper is part of the ACCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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