Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has penned “a message to the whole world” in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The message takes the form of a poem released on the website of Victoria Miro gallery, where Kusama assures self-isolated audiences that “now is the time for people all over the world to stand up” to “fight this terrible monster.”
“Now is the time to overcome, to bring peace/ We gathered for love and I hope to fulfil that desire/ The time has come to fight and overcome our unhappiness,” the 91-year-old artist adds in her poem, where she referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as a “historic menace.”
Elsewhere in her uplifting message, Kusama expresses her gratitude for the healthcare workers on the frontline of the health crisis, from which more than 137,500 people have died across the world.
Kusama is one of the numerous artists whose exhibitions have been postponed, as museums and cultural institutions are taking increased precautions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. She was slated to showcase her works at a three-month exhibition starting March 27 at Singapore’s Mucciaccia Gallery. The presentation has since been postponed.
Earlier this April, the New York Botanical Garden also announced that it was rescheduling its much-anticipated “Kusama: Cosmic Nature” exhibition for spring 2021. The show, originally set to open on May 9, will focus on Kusama’s lifelong fascination with the natural world. This multi-sensory presentation will feature works spanning Kusama’s seven-decade career, such as her colossal polka-dotted sculptures of flora as well as her first-ever participatory greenhouse installation “Obliteration Room.”
“The passion that I and those at The New York Botanical Garden have poured into this exhibition is still burning. Everyone, I hope you will wait. We aspire for endless love permeated with everyone’s hearts of human love, a wish for peace in the world, our dreams, and wonders of hope — it is our wish that this exhibition can offer these as its greatest gift. I hope you all can wait,” Kusama said of the postponement of the exhibition in a statement.
To keep you waiting, discover Kusama’s words of resilience in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic below:
Though it glistens just out of reach, I continue to pray for hope to shine through
Its glimmer lighting our way
This long awaited great cosmic glow
Now that we find ourselves on the dark side of the world
The gods will be there to strengthen the hope we have spread throughout the universe
For those left behind, each person’s story and that of their loved ones
It is time to seek a hymn of love for our souls
In the midst of this historic menace, a brief burst of light points to the future
Let us joyfully sing this song of a splendid future
Embraced in deep love and the efforts of people all over the world
Now is the time to overcome, to bring peace
We gathered for love and I hope to fulfil that desire
The time has come to fight and overcome our unhappiness
To COVID-19 that stands in our way
I say Disappear from this earth
We shall fight
We shall fight this terrible monster
Now is the time for people all over the world to stand up
My deep gratitude goes to all those who are already fighting.
Revolutionist of the world by the Art
From Yayoi Kusama