Vuitton pop-up puts pop artist in spotlight

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:16pm


Louis Vuitton is no dummy at brand building. Collaborations with artists such as Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami have created some of the house's most noteworthy designs.

Those who have strolled through Pacific Place lately will have found it hard to miss the label's latest duet with the world of fine art. A pop-up concept store with 83-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has you immersed in big red polka dots on white space with tentacle-like, biomorphic sculptures that are said to be inspired by nerves.

This is one of seven pop-up stores opening around the world, the others in Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, New York and London. It comes on the back of creative director Marc Jacobs' first visit to China, where he staged a replica of his autumn-winter 2012 show in Shanghai last month.

Jacobs met Kusama in Japan in 2006. The label is also associating itself with Kusama's first retrospective exhibition, which has visited the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Paris' Centre Pompidou, London's Tate Modern and New York's Whitney Museum of American Art.

A visit to the pop-up boutique treats you to the weird and wonderful world of this artist. The playful visuals are an insight into the mind of a true avant-garde artist. Her minimalistic, psychedelic works cross various mediums. Kusama, a self-confessed obsessive, has been residing in a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo for decades.

The extensive collaborative collection includes ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories incorporating Kusama's famous spots, and are available in store. There is also a new (and free) LV-Kusama-themed iPhone app. More special products are due in October, focusing on the Louis Vuitton monogram.

LV has not only brought Kusama to public attention, but also lauded her cultural kudos. At 83, and with so much going on, Kusama's career might be experiencing another apex.