BRIDGING THE ART OF YAYOI KUSAMA WITH THE NETWORKS OF KUSAMA & POLKADOT
Subjects having been born 90 years apart, the KABOCHA COLLECTIONS are an evolving gallery that features NFTs as unique as themselves.
The curated works will include five exhibits, incorporating Kusama’s (the artist) fascination with Kabocha, polkadots and the identicons of the Kusama/Polkadot networks.
Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist born in 1929 is a woman in her own league. Her portfolio is nothing short of exceptional, including paintings, performances, room-size presentations, outdoor sculptural installations, literary works, films, fashion, design, and interventions within existing architectural structures. The focus of our exhibition is her obsession with Kabocha, often referred to as the Japanese pumpkin and, polkadots.
The key themes of Kusama’s art emerged when she was very young. By ten years old, she was already creating pencil drawings that featured her now distinctive motif of dots that repeat across entire surfaces. Eventually, Kabocha met those Polkadots.
“The first time I ever saw a pumpkin was when I was in elementary school and went with my grandfather to visit a big seed-harvesting ground . . . It seems that pumpkins do not inspire much respect. But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual balance.”
Kusama first began sketching pumpkins while attending the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts in the 1940s. But it was not until 1975 that she would focus on the theme, after taking residence in a psychiatric hospital in Japan. More on this below.
Immediately engaging, the unique combination of her art has garnered her the title of “Princess of Polkadots”, gaining international notoriety. Deeply integrating them into her pieces, her defining moment coming in 1993 at the Venice Biennale, claiming her unique title.
On the opposite spectrum, lies the Kusama/Polkadot networks.
As described on kusama.network:
Unprecedented interoperability and scalability for blockchain developers who want to quickly push the limits of what’s possible. Built using Substrate with nearly the same codebase and industry-leading multichain infrastructure as Kusama’s cousin, Polkadot.
As described on polkadot.network:
Polkadot is a network protocol that allows arbitrary data—not just tokens—to be transferred across blockchains. Polkadot can transfer this data (not just tokens) across public, open, permissionless blockchains as well as private, permissioned blockchains.
Kusama (network) was/is known as the “Testnet”, popularly referred to as the “Canary network”. It is built as a risk-taking, fast moving cousin to Polkadot. It’s a living platform built for change agents to take back control, spark innovation and disrupt the status quo. It has recently deployed the auction phase of their roadmap.
We can only expect amazing things from Polkadot considering the development thus far of the Kusama Network, a truly unique blockchain environment.
The identicon concept is not native to the Kusama/Polkadot networks but we can argue the style is.
Comprised of 19 polkadots, they are essentially, identity icons. For each address that gets created on the networks, a different colour scheme, pattern or not, is created.
What is the connection between Kusama the artist, Kusama/Polkadot networks? We don’t quite know but we do find it intriguing.
“I want to become more famous, even more famous” -Yayoi Kusama
Like others in the “famous” category, it came at a high cost. Personal sacrifices, tough decisions, precise focus… the subject that is being revealed more and more in this moment, mental health.
It is no different for Kusama (the artist). Growing up in post-war Japan, an authoritarian mother, dispirited father, she experienced mental health issues from being a child. This included obsessive-compulsive behavior and hallucinations. We see polkadots in her art. Kusama sees black holes of infinity, voids, teleportation ports into another realm. A completely different universe in her happenings.
As mentioned earlier, her place of residence is inside a psychiatric hospital. Each day, waking up and walking to her nearby studio, doing what she does best while there in a place of personal security. Once tired, retreats back to the hospital to rest, again, another spot where she feels safe. She has done this for years, 40 plus.
In hindsight, she has taken what some would consider, an usual mind and turned it into a positive. The result is some of the most interesting art in the last century.
While this may not be unique, it’s not a common situation and outcome for most. Which is why we have made a pledge to contribute 3% of each of the KABOCHA COLLECTION’s NFT sales to organizations devoted to improving mental health. Part of our vision and reason for creating our exhibition was for this exact reason.
The first recipient is the CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. You can follow them at @childmindinst on twitter. What better organization than one dedicated to transforming the lives of children that are affected by mental health disorders.
If you are one of those organizations that would be in interested in future collaborations, please get in touch with us.
WE PRESENT THE KABOCHA COLLECTIONS. Bridging THE ARTWORK OF YAYOI KUSAMA AND THE NETWORKS OF KUSAMA & POLKADOT.
There will be five total exhibits. The debut will be made through SEIYO with the others to follow as the each network furthers in development.
Combined, each represents a tier. Each are attached to themes and expressed as NFTs. Identified by the identicon color in our logo, the higher the level, the greater the exclusivity. Each minted NFT prominently displays this distinguished mark.
The exception to the exclusivity rule (of sorts) is MIYAKO. This will be further explained as this exhibit nears its premiere.
...thank you, everyone loves them
Watching this collection closely on @RmrkApp
Thank you very much!
Much thought went in planning and executing the final design of the KABOCHA COLLECTIONS NFTs. A brief explanation regarding the significance of each:
The exclusive Kabocha.
Colored identicon tier identification.
EDITION | NETWORK | MINT DATE
Name of NFT.
FIVE EXHIBITS ARE MENTIONED, WHY ARE THERE ONLY FOUR HERE?
Excellent eye. There is an additional tier but it is not ready for public display. The pieces are encrypted in our vault and have yet to be minted.
WHAT IS AN NFT?
NFT is short for non-fungible token. This is a type of digital currency. But un-like popular cryptocurrency like Bitcoin for example, an NFT is unique and cannot be exchanged like for like. This where the term non-fungible comes into play.
CAN YOU ELABORATE ON WHAT AN NFT IS?
At its most basic level, it is a collectible asset which contains value that brings together two parts. The first is cryptocurrency and the second is but not limited to art/culture. Traditionally, physical forms of art are seen as a holding investment. NFTs digitize that holding.
SO WHAT ARE THE KABOCHA COLLECTIONS?
They are digital pieces of art combined with digital currency, creating an NFT holding investment.
WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF THE KABOCHA COLLECTIONS?
The KABOCHA COLLECTIONS are a bridge between Yayoi Kusama & the Kusama/Polkadot networks.
HOW DID THIS CONNECTION BETWEEN KUSAMA (THE ARTIST) AND THE KUSAMA/POLKADOT NETWORKS COME TO BE?
From each of their perspectives, we’re not entirely sure.
WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO THE KUSAMA/POLKADOT NETWORK?
Glad you asked. Since September of 2020, we have been avid followers of both and consider it to be the most unique blockchain platform. There is no personal relationship.
WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO YAYOI KUSAMA?
Glad you asked this too. We owe the introduction to her and her art to the Kusama/Polkadot Networks. Since the introduction, we have been avid fans and have also begun collecting some of her pieces. We were lucky to have had the chance to experience her art installations in NYC this summer.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT YOUR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO MENTAL HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS?
We invite you to browse the “THIS BELOW” section (above) on our website for more information on this.
I HAVE A QUESTION THAT IS NOT ON HERE.
Please get in touch with us using the email address below.