Pieces of Yayoi Kusama’s popular “Yellow Pumpkin,” long-installed on a pier until it was washed out to sea on by a typhoon on Monday, have been recovered on the coast of Japan.
Located in Naoshima, an island town in Kagawa Prefecture, the work has been a tourist magnet since 1994. Over six feet tall and eight feet wide, the hollow polka-dotted sculpture came ashore in 3 pieces after rough weather from Typhoon Lupit toppled it from a bolted base on an ocean pier. Footage of the pumpkin pummeled by waves went viral on social media.
“We are currently checking its broken condition and are reviewing if it can be restored to its original state or whether it should be recreated anew,” said a representative of Benesse Holdings Inc., the education company that owns the piece.
According to a Benesse catalogue, “the work was one of the largest pumpkins Kusama had made up to that point , and it was also her first sculpture created with an initial intention to be exhibited in [the] open-air… Kusama’s Pumpkin painted in yellow with black dots continuously changes the everyday landscape into something new.”
Staff at the Benesse Art Site typically store outdoor artworks ahead of typhoons, but did not get to the piece in time.
Naoshima, dubbed "Art Island," features additional artworks, including Kusama's “Red Pumpkin,” which visitors can enter inside.