Yayoi Kusama’s yellow pumpkin sculpture is back on Naoshima Island, Japan, in 2016. It was removed in 2013 after police found it was “a vulgarity.” Kusama returned the sculpture, which is meant to be a gift for the island’s residents, to its former home in Hachioji.
“I want to go back to my hometown of Hachioji. My first love is Hachioji. I want to come back to my home,” says Kusama.
Kusama, who says her family has always been into art, says she wanted to be a sculptor since she was like 3 months old when her father taught her to make sculptures. “I always like to make sculptures. I like to create new things.”
In Hachioji, Kusama says she has had the chance to meet so many different people, from school students to businessmen. “I made new friends in my hometown. It was new experience for me to see everything different. I had a new experience as a sculptor.”
Kusama’s sculpture is made of ceramic, with its own paint and a little bit of hair. It’s about 3-feet tall, and takes about 10 days to make (and it still breaks if you try to lift).
The ceramic sculpture has been on Naoshima Island since the 1980s. Kusama created it because she was inspired by the idea of bringing a gift for someone who has made a gift for you. Kusama says that, while she can’t give up her work, she wants to give it to people who need a little bit of a different perspective in life.
“That’s why I made this sculpture that everyone can enjoy,” she said.
But Kusama’s sculpture has been in the news for some time. In a 2011 interview, she said, “I’m a woman who likes to travel. But that was my life. Now I only made fun sculpture. I cannot stop making fun sculpture now.”
Kusama is currently working on new creations she says will take over her life. “I plan to make art of different themes. Maybe in the future I will make sculptures about animals,” she said.