Yayoi Kusama was named by The Art magazine as the world’s most popular artist in 2015 and, in 1993, she was the first to represent Japan solo at the Venice Biennale. She’s done fashion collaborations with Marc Jacobs and Issey Miyake. Now, at the age of 88, she’s opening her own museum in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.

The Yayoi Kusama museum, designed by architecture firm Kume Sekkei, will open on October 1. If you find yourself in the United States or Canada before that, you might be able to catch her touring exhibition, “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” which is making its way across North America.

So let’s brush up on some Kusama-isms: who better to describe this remarkable force of creativity than the woman herself? Here are six facts to get you started:

6) She’s forthright about her mental and physical ailments – and uses them in her creative process:

“I don’t want to cure my mental problems, rather I want to utilise them as a generating force for my art.”

“My art originates from hallucinations only I can see … All my works in pastels are the products of obsessional neurosis and are therefore inextricably connected to my disease.”

5) In the 1960s in New York she directed nude “Happenings” or “Body Festivals” – as well as orgies:

“I played the role of high priestess and painted the nude bodies of models on the stage with polka dots in five colours. When a Happening was staged at Times Square under my direction, a huge crowd flocked to it. I was never nude, publicly or privately … The studio would have been thrown into utter confusion if I were arrested.”

4) As you may have noticed, she’s very fond of pumpkins, having first encountered the enormous fruit as a child in her parents’ garden in pre-war Japan:

“Pumpkins bring about poetic peace in my mind. Pumpkins talk to me.”

“I would confront the spirit of the pumpkin, forgetting everything else … I spent as much as a month facing a single pumpkin.”

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3) Andy Warhol was a big fan in the 1960s, to the extent that he plagiarised her:

“Andy was a person who incorporated everything indiscriminately in his art as if he were running a wholesale business of imitations.”

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2) She’s against creating art for the sake of money …

“People ask about art and commercialism. I think that if someone tries to sell their work at a high price, that is the wrong way of doing it.”

But she knows a good marketing opportunity when she sees one …

“The reason I collaborate with Louis Vuitton is that Louis Vuitton is number one in the world, and I am honoured to work with them.”

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1) Her trademark polka dots can symbolise almost anything …

“Polka dots symbolise disease.”

“I am just another dot in the world.”

“A polka dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm.”

And also nothing …

“If there’s a cat, I obliterate it by putting polka dot stickers on it. I obliterate a horse by putting polka dot stickers on it. And I obliterated myself by putting the same polka dot stickers on myself.”