Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Seattle Art Museum

One thing I was really excited to come home to see after being in India for a couple of weeks was Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. Some of the pieces showcased in this exhibit were conceptualized starting in the 1960s and continued to evolve to the present day! Advanced tickets for the exhibit were sold out almost immediately after the dates for showcase at SAM were announced (June 30 – Sept 10, 2017), and only tickets to be purchased on the day-of are available. Here are some sneak peaks of what you’ll see being exhibited and some tips for your visit!

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This probably goes without saying, but Kusama’s work is incredible to see in person! There are 6 Infinity Rooms that you can immerse yourself in. Aside from the 360 mirror-surrounded repetition rooms and kaleidoscope boxes, The Obliteration Room is interactive one where you have the opportunity to participate in the making of the art by adding dot stickers to the walls, floor, and furniture!

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I won’t ruin all the fun surprises for you (there are a lot of original artwork pieces also on display between the Infinity Rooms), so here are some tips for planning your visit to the SAM for the Infinity Mirrors Exhibit:

Arrive early for tickets!

Since the advanced tickets are all sold out, only a limited number of day-of tickets are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. The SAM opens at 10am everyday (except for Tuesday, as it’s closed), so plan to brave the ticket lines early. Each person can only purchase a maximum of 4 tickets.

Try to avoid bringing a backpack

If you can avoid it, leave your backpack (or large bag) at home. Most small crossbody purses will be ok to bring in, but anything larger will have to be checked into bag check. I was lucky enough to be able to take my backpack into the museum under the condition that I carried it on my front (or in my arms) the whole time. This is more a safety precaution for the art than anything else, so to avoid waiting in more lines, I’d recommend leaving the bag at home if you can!

Get shutter happy!

You’re allotted 30 seconds per Infinity Room. I was definitely not prepared for how quickly 30 seconds flies by! If you’re planning to take photos while in the rooms, have your camera on and ready to go shutter happy before you enter. Lighting may be a bit tricky to adjust for, as lighting is different in every room, but if you really want to get the shot, you can always queue up again to experience the room.
*Note: There is one room – the Pumpkin room – where photography is prohibited and you’ll be followed in by a security guard. This is the newest – and coolest, imo – addition to the Infinity Rooms.

Have fun!! This is such an incredible exhibit and I am so grateful that Seattle is one of the cities to get to experience it.

Disclosure: A HUGE thank you to the Seattle Art Museum team who made this visit possible. We were lucky enough to see all of the Infinity Rooms and exhibits as press – while still adhering to the same guidelines that ticket holders do – to share with you our experience as well as the tips for how to best prepare for your visit.

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  • The Emerald Palate

    30 seconds per room, that’s kind of a bummer!! I really want to go to this! Any idea how early people start queuing for day-of tickets?

    • We got there about 10 minutes before the general doors opened and there was quite an impressive line already. Each of the lines for the individual Infinity Rooms wasn’t so bad though (since it’s split across 6 options). Even though 30 seconds per room is not a lot of time, there’s nothing stopping you from going multiple times to maximize photo/viewing opportunity!

      • The Emerald Palate

        Ah good to know you didn’t have to get there 1+ hours ahead of opening to get in! And that’s good to know the lines aren’t unbearable once inside to keep going into the exhibits. I’m definitely going to try and get here before it ends. Thanks for the tips!

        • I should’ve clarified… I went to the exhibit as press, so was not in the general ticket line. Although we arrived 10 minutes before general doors opening, the line wasn’t very long when we first arrived. Shortly after 10am (when general doors open) though, the ticket line was pretty long. I would imagine that the line length fluctuates between weekdays and weekends. Hope you make it out to see this before the show moves on to the next city!!

        • Adding an update to my response! I had a few friends visit the exhibit on the weekend. They lined up at 9AM (an hour before doors open) and there was already a decent line outside. The day-of tickets they purchased were for a specific time slot, which means after buying their ticket in the morning, they had to come back to the SAM around 1pm for which their ticket time was assigned for. Just a head’s up if you’re still planning on making the visit!

          • Adria | The Emerald Palate

            Thank you so much for following up on this!

  • This looks amazing! I can totally imagine that tickets for this sold out so quickly!

    • It was truly an amazing experience! If I could, I would go back to experience again. I had friends who lined up this past weekend and said they waited for 2 hours to purchase tickets and didn’t get an assigned time until early afternoon. I’d highly recommend going to see it (especially since the exhibit will be moving to another city in a couple weeks) if you have time to!!