In Pictures: This Japanese artist wants you to see plants differently

A giant yellow-and-black pumpkin cuts a striking contrast with the white Victorian greenhouse at the New York Botanical Garden. A mother carries her child on her back, playing peekaboo with the reflective surface as her daughter squeals in delight. 

That sense of childlike joy pervades “Kusama: Cosmic Nature,” an exhibition by Yayoi Kusama. The Japanese contemporary artist, who spent her childhood among the fields of her family’s seed nursery in Japan, comes full circle in this introspection on nature. Ms. Kusama, whose artistic journey began in her early teens, went on to become famous for her immersive, infinity-mirror installations around the world. 

In “Cosmic Nature,” polka-dotted trees, silvery orbs, and anthropomorphic sculptures delight visitors. Sketches and paintings displayed in an indoor gallery reveal her fascination with the natural world. 

Why We Wrote This

Sometimes you need a little help seeing everyday sights in a new way. In this photo essay, the whimsical work of artist Yayoi Kusama transforms the New York Botanical Garden into a fantastical world.

Against the lush backdrop of the garden, her sculpture takes on a new dimension and invites us to see the world anew.

The exhibition, which is ticketed, runs through Oct. 31, 2021. 

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Mark Sappenfield Editor

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