A poem for the world by Yayoi Kusama

A poem for the world by Yayoi Kusama
A Yayoi Kusama pumpkin similar to the one which Angela Gulbenkian allegedly failed to hand over to her client. Photo by arcticpenguin on Flickr, used courtesy of Creative Commons License 2.0.
Leading lights  -   Artists

Known for her polka-dotted pumpkins and glistening infinity rooms, Yayoi Kusama hasn’t slowed down despite being 91. However, the coronavirus pandemic put upcoming exhibitions of the Japanese artist’s works on hold, effectively forcing her to slow down, in some ways. Kusama’s story isn’t unique, many artists have faced similar issues with upcoming exhibitions, millions of people have lost their jobs or been furloughed, and virus has touched the lives of nearly everyone in large and small ways.

In the face of the pandemic, Kusama has written a poem to encourage everyone while we adjust to what COVID-19 has changed. It isn’t the first time that Kusama has addressed the world through writing. Last year, during a solo exhibition at David Zwirner, Kusama wrote to visitors that she “will never cease dedicating my whole life to my love for the universe.” Now, she once again has extended her love acknowledging the “terrible monster” we face but calls on us to come together.

“It is time to seek a hymn of love for our souls,” writes Kusama, and in so many ways, we are finding commonalities and ways to make the distance seem less painful. For this Monday evening, as we enter another week of fighting the pandemic, we leave you with Kusama’s words:

“Today, with the world facing COVID-19, I feel the necessity to address it with this message:



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
Let’s go


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 fulfill 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