This paper examines the prolific projects of Kusama Yayoi to re-examine the dispositions, methods and habits that have informed a remarkably sustained life of creative practice. It accepts the significance of her life experiences and self-proclaimed condition of obsessional neurosis as they inform broader auto-ethnographic frameworks for her appreciating her expressive, surreal and nonfigurative ventures. These paradigms explain both her intensive industry, and the pictorial tropes sustained in her work. Beyond these, however, it finds a deeper, culturally conditioned, phenomenon sustaining the expansive cycles of invention in her work in habits of asobi, or play. It explains how playful dispositions inform her inventive re-arrangements of Japanese conventional and sensory tropes, her easy interventions into the formal and theatrical modes of New York-style modernism, and the active engagement of interactive participation in her art. It suggests that an ethos of play can empower dispositions to empowering, and inventive, creative practice in the arts and beyond.
|Keywords:||Neuroaesthetics, Play, Creativity|
Associate Professor, College of Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand