Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

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Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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(Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. (Supplied)
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Updated 04 February 2020

Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

  • Visitors are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them

ALULA: Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has made her Saudi Arabian debut with one of her mirrored “infinity rooms” available to visit at AlUla’s Maraya Concert Hall.

The installation at AlUla, titled “Infinity Mirrored Room — Brilliance of the Souls,” is deceptively small at first. A totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on, observers are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them.
Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. The viewer is insulated from the outside world, and the space transforms from a confined room barely big enough for two people to an unending wonder.
The exhibit makes for a perfect place to take an ethereal, otherworldly selfie, as demonstrated by many of its visitors, such as Finnish resident Laura Alho, known online as “blueabaya.” Alho took to Twitter to post photos of her experience, saying she had “never seen anything like it.”
The concert hall itself is also covered in mirrors on the outside, designed with the intention of blending into the surrounding rocky landscape of AlUla without disrupting the natural beauty of the location.
Kusama, a 90-year-old artist from Matsumoto, is widely acknowledged as one of the most important contemporary Japanese creatives. Though she works primarily through sculpture and installation, she also paints, contributes to film and performance art, and dabbles in poetry, fiction, and fashion. She is famous for her conceptual art, which shows attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, art brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism.

HIGHLIGHT

The ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ is deceptively small at first. It is a totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on.

At the age of 10, she began to experience vivid hallucinations which consisted of dense fields of dots, which inspired the Infinity Mirrored Rooms that she is most well-known for. As a way of therapy and self-expression, Kusama began creating these spaces with mirrored walls and multiple dots incorporated into the designs.
Kusama’s work is showcased at museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. There are 10 permanent Infinity Mirrored Rooms in museums worldwide, with several temporary showcases leased to various others. People have reportedly lined up for as long as five hours just to be allowed inside one for 30 seconds.
Interested parties can visit the Infinity Mirrored Room as part of the Winter at Tantora festival, taking place in AlUla until March 20. Access to the room is free to concertgoers with a ticket, details of which can be found at experiencealula.com.

 

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Saudi government agencies discuss Hajj 2020 plan

Updated 14 min 38 sec ago

Saudi government agencies discuss Hajj 2020 plan

  • Several security entities involved in the Hajj system attended the meeting, where they discussed the 2019 Hajj season and addressed its biggest challenges
  • The team reviewed the pilgrims grouping system and modern techniques to expand communication and cooperation with the relevant authorities

MAKKAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah hosted on Tuesday the first meeting of a joint work team in charge of supervising the pilgrims grouping system.
Several security entities involved in the Hajj system attended the meeting, where they discussed the 2019 Hajj season and addressed its biggest challenges.
The meeting, which was chaired by the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj affairs, Hussein bin Nasser Al-Sharif, stressed the importance of joint efforts to serve and facilitate the pilgrims’ journey and to live up to the leadership’s aspirations.
The team reviewed the pilgrims grouping system and modern techniques to expand communication and cooperation with the relevant authorities.
It also considered the development of interactive platforms to exchange ideas for making the Hajj plans a success.
The first joint work team meeting was attended by the Ministry of Interior, the Civil Defense, the General Directorate of Traffic, the Emirate Of Makkah Province, the Makkah Region Development Authority, the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites and the Makkah Municipality.