This is the fascinating story of the queen of polka dots, Yayoi Kusama, one of the most popular artists in the world today. The film traces Kusama’s trajectory from a conservative upbringing in Japan to battling sexism and racism in 1960s NYC to her unstoppable rise to international fame.
Filmmakers: Heather Lenz
Kusama: Life in Polka Dots explores Yayoi Kusama’s fierce determination to become a world-renowned artist. Kusama was born into a conservative family in rural Japan and she made her way to America on the heels of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love, making art. On her first day in New York, Kusama has stated that she climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, looked down upon the city below, and made a decision to stand out from everyone she saw below and become a star. She has received the Praemium Imperiale Laureate for lifetime achievement in painting, and was named the world’s ‘most popular artist’ and one of the ‘most expensive living female artist’ in 2014.
Director: Heather Lenz
Producers: Dan Braun, David Koh, Karen Johnson and Heather Lenz
Executive producers: Josh Braun, Stanley F. Buchthal, Simone Haggiag and Alice Koh
Cinematography: Hideaki Itaya, Ken Kobland and Hart Perry