Yayoi Kusama was born in 1928 in Matsumoto, Japan. She studied Nihonga painting at a young age and in her 20's proceeded to make a series of highly original works on paper incorporating obsessive looping marks and references to plants, seeds, sex organs and planets. Seeking a larger art scene, she moved to New York in 1958 and stayed until 1973, producing significant bodies of work in painting, sculpture, installation and happenings. This work was largely forgotten in the U.S. until an exhibition in New York in 1989. With it began her long and steady accent to its present level of critical and popular acclaim.

In 2006 she became the first woman artist to receive Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2008 the sale of one of her paintings broke the auction record for a work by a living woman artist. She lives and works in Tokyo.