Monday, May 22, 2017

Infinity Mirrors Yayoi Kusama at the Hirshhorn

A week ago I went to see the Kusama exhibit in Washington D.C. at the Hirshhorn Gallery.

I was lucky to have a friend gift me an un-timed ticket and I went on the second to last day.  I got in very shortly after they opened and the lines were still short inside.

One one the things that caught my eyes was this painting, which was displayed along with the Mirrors exhibit.  I tried something different and went for the slow shutter speed and lens zooming during the exposure.  Of a huge number of tries, a handful came out ok and I liked this one in particular.

The original painting is called "End of the Universe, Abode of Love".

End of the Universe, Abode of Love (Yayoi Kusama)

The rooms that contain the Infinity Mirrors pieces are fairly small, and can hold a couple of visitors at a time.  With this being so popular, each set of visitors is timed and allowed between 20 and 30 seconds depending on the one (or maybe the docent's interpretation of the time limit, IDK).

Once I had seen the first exhibit/room, I knew that shooting just inside was going to leave me wanting more.  And I also wanted to somehow capture the visitors going in or going out.  I lurked outside a few of them, and with the one below captured something close to what I hoped for.  Again I used a slow shutter speed, and this time with the moving mirrored door, the reflections are stretched out horizontally.  And the door helps to bridge the inside with the outside.  I wish I had spent much more time with this approach.

Finally here's one from inside.  This is shot with a D4 and 35mm perspective control (PC), manual focus lens.  I only shot a very brief amount of time with this lens inside the exhibits because getting good focus in the dark in 20 seconds while examining a scene I've never experienced before is all too much.  I realized this when I chimped my shots from one room and found almost all of them out of focus.  I just hadn't gotten it right.  The other setup I was using was a D810 w/ 24-120mm f/4.

Infinity Mirrors

I also posted the above to Instagram, and cut off my legs which were distracting in the flickr verison in my opinion.

A post shared by Jon (@the_real_nikographer) on

There are still a lot more images I'd like to share.  Here's a small collage of 4 more images from the day.

Have you seen this or another one of Kusama's exhibits?  What did you think?