Before the first dot. Yayoi Kusama’s obliteration room


The installation of Yayoi Kusama’s popular interactive children’s project has taken the work to a new scale, filling our Children’s Art Centre at GOMA. This space has been transformed into a series of domestic—style rooms, reminiscent of the average Australian home, filled with furniture and objects painted entirely white. This functions as a blank canvas that becomes ‘obliterated’ over the course of the exhibition through the application of brightly coloured dot stickers.

This series of images shows The obliteration room 2002 to present in its pristine state before the exhibition opened, along with the application of the very first dot stickers. You can also read more about Kusama and the exhibition.

Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / The obliteration room 2002 to present
The obliteration room installed during ‘Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever’ 2011 / Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / The obliteration room 2002 to present / Furniture, white paint, dot stickers / Collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery. Commissioned Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2012 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Yayoi Kusama / Installation view of ‘Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever’ 2011


  1. Yes, she’s fabulous. Yesterday I saw a piece on the BBC World News showing her appearance at the opening of her Tate retrospective, resplendently dressed in red and white polka dots and crowned with an ‘electrifying red’ wig – a pretty special octogenarian. I wondered where I had seen the something like the Obliteration Room before, and now I realise it was in my hometown. GoMA Brisbane, you rock!

  2. so were is the finished room pic? how come you didn’t show the kids artwork? did anyone think to tell a bunch of kids, each with multiple one color stickers to get together and make a big picture?

  3. hello!I was wondering if any of you know similar artist/designers like Yayoi Kusama where the audience engages in the artwork?

    Any help would be amazing!


  4. This is so cool. I am such a huge fan of their work. I really am impressed with how much you have worked to make this website so enjoyable.

  5. Fabulous and great work you people have done. Appreciated.

  6. the white room looks really cool and creative great job to whoever disigned it

  7. Heyy i’m doing a class research on Yayoi kusama and i really like this art work can anyone help me find info on this like how big it is etc o-o like the frame work TTATT i’m stuck sowi

  8. Hi Sam. Yayoi Kusama’s The obliteration room 2002 – present can take many forms with various items of furniture, therefore the dimensions for her work are variable. Of interest, this work will be on display in the Childrens’s Art Centre at GOMA from 6 December 2014. In this reworked and enlarged installation, a domestic environment will be recreated in the Gallery space. Regards QAGOMA

  9. The art and concept is very beautiful and makes quite a statement. My comment is very small but noteworthy. As the video of this room’s creation travels through social media, it is attached to an article written by Christopher Jobson on January 1, 2012. He titled that article, “This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids”. As I watched adults fill the room with stickers, I kept waiting for them to stop putting up the “this is what you do with the stickers” hints for when the flood of kids would show up, but it never stopped…EVERYBODY…adults AND kids, stickered the room. My disappointment was not with THAT… only with the deception in Mr. Jobson’s piece. Since it is still circulating today through Facebook, etc, it could and should be made accurate. I PROBABLY am not the ONLY person that was a little disappointed (enough to mention this to you, MAYBE, but…). “Kids” could AT LEAST be changed to “Kids-at-Heart”!!! Otherwise, it’s misleading to the reader. Thank you for reading my comment, it’s not necessary to post it if you don’t want to. This is the only “contact me” I could find near Mr. Jobson’s name.