Yayoi Kusama’s yellow pumpkin returns to Naoshima Island, Japan

(CNN) – Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s famous yellow pumpkin sculpture was re-installed on the island of Naoshima on October 4 after it was washed out to sea and badly damaged during a typhoon last summer.

Local residents, students and officials gathered to celebrate the Art Island’s trademark sculpture as it was placed back on the pier on Naoshima Island, which is located in the sea interior of Seto. It was there since 1994.

“Since (the pumpkin) was a symbol of Naoshima, it is great to see the same artwork installed again in the same place. We are happy to share the joy with the residents of Naoshima,” said Yukari Stenlund, a spokeswoman for Benesse Holdings. the company that manages the sculpture and the rest of the island’s art offerings, he told CNN Travel.

The sculpture, which is two meters high, 2.5 meters wide and made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic, was washed out to sea and broke into three pieces in August 2021.

According to Stenlund, Kusama’s production team chose to create a new yellow pumpkin sculpture, while remaining true to the original, after assessing the extent of the damage.

The presentation was made on October 4, 2022.

The presentation was made on October 4, 2022.

Courtesy of Tadasu Yamamoto

The artist’s production team began work on a new pumpkin earlier this spring and made the sculpture’s outer shell 10% thicker than the original so it could withstand strong waves and wind in the future Additionally, a hook was embedded in its stem so it could be easily dragged to safety if another typhoon struck.

“We hope to exhibit the pumpkin as a symbol of the connection between Naoshima and the world,” Stenlund added, saying that this message underpinned the 1994 “Out of Bounds” exhibit, which saw the sculpture first installed time on the island

On the Japanese island of Naoshima, contemporary sculptures dot the landscape, while abandoned houses are transformed into works of art.

Naoshima is a quiet town with 3,200 inhabitants, located on the Setouchi Sea, north of Shikoku. With three museums of modern and contemporary art, it is known as an “island of art”, The yellow pumpkin, which contrasts with the blue sea, has long been a popular place for Instagram photos.

The main way to access the island is a 20-minute ferry ride from Okayama City, which is a 50-minute bullet train ride from Osaka.

Pumpkin timing couldn’t be better. Japan opens its borders to leisure tourists on October 11, and the Setouchi Art Festival will run until November 2022.

Photo of the “Yellow Pumpkin” welcoming ceremony courtesy of Tadasu Yamamoto

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