watch yayoi kusama’s polka dots and weiwei’s chairs come alive

A visual artist and former NASA intern brought the contemporary art titans together using CGI.

by Emily Manning
20 August 2015, 9:15pm

As technologies rapidly advance, more and more digital dreamers are finding ways to breathe new life into their favorite works of art -- like this Italian experimental animator who made impossibly intricate gifs of his favorite Renaissance pieces. Today, visual artist and former NASA intern Ziye Liu's new video remixed the iconic installations of two of contemporary art's living masters: Yayoi Kusama and Ai Weiwei.

Liu's Themes and Variations animates Kusama's Polka Dots and Narcissus Garden as well as Weiwei's Grapes and Untitled, using both artists' original static works as launchpads for "infinite possibilities," as Liu's description reads. Playing with 3D digital art forms and CGI, Liu's aim was to "to create new 'versions' of existing artworks."

In the video, Kusama's chrome Grapes cascade throughout the grounds of a digitally rendered space that looks like wherever the hell they shot Ex Machina, while her iconic Polka Dots dance up and down the walls. As the sun shines on Weiwei's geometric sculptures, they magically shape shift and multiply in form before his wooden stools defy gravity and float freely through the air.

It's been a pretty good year for both Kusama and Weiwei so far. In April, Kusama was named the world's most popular artist, which anyone waiting hours in line for her interactive sticker show -- which opened at David Zwirner New York a month later -- could confirm is true. After four years, Weiwei's notorious travel ban was lifted and he was granted a British visa to visit his Royal Academy of Art show next month.


Text Emily Manning

Ai Weiwei
Yayoi Kusama
Ziye Liu