Walker Art Center: Yayoi Kusama
Japanese, b. 1927
Paint, canvas, cotton, steel, wood
This oven-pan filled with metallic gold/broze colored â€śyamsâ€? caught my attention with itâ€™s anthropomorphic shapes all crammed together leaning out of the pan. The materials are interesting, because the canvas filled with cotton has a soft plushy cute look, but at the same time is painted metallic bronze, so it has a hard cast metal feel to them.
In a crude way, they look like a pan full of animated turds, but also appear to be boatpeople crossing the seas or fishermen on a fishing trip.
These yam shapes have no facial features, but seem to be animated, because of the standing and leaning gestures and head-like tips. There is a slotted spoon/fryer strainer like ladle with small pieces of â€śpotatoesâ€? or something. They could be the fishing net or basket of the â€śfishermenâ€? on the â€śboatâ€?.
I like the use of ordinary kitchen utensils used in the scupture with the appearance of traditional cast metal look/ the subject matter remains ambiguous and can be as simple as Thanksgiving Day meal yams, or illegal immigration, etc. Thatâ€™s what keeps the piece so interesting.