BY Frieze News Desk | 19 AUG 19 News

Operation Pumpkin: Watch Art Handlers Rescue Yayoi Kusama’s Sculpture from Typhoon

An Instagram user documented the artwork being whisked away as Typhoon Krosa approached Japan’s Naoshima island

BY Frieze News Desk | 19 AUG 19

Yellow pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama on pier at sea, Seto Inland Sea, Naoshima, Japan, 2017. Courtesy: Getty Images; photograph: Eric Lafforgue/Art In All Of Us/Corbis

Just before the arrival of Typhoon Krosa in Japan last week, Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin (1994) – located on the art-filled Naoshima island – was whisked to safety. An Instagram user documented art handlers carrying the sculpture away from its sea-facing dock, before being loaded onto a truck and driven to a secure location.

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Aug 13, 2019 at 10:32pm PDT

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Aug 14, 2019 at 3:37pm PDT

Located in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, Naoshima boasts several world-class museums along its coastline, designed by the legendary Japanese architect Tadao Ando for the Benesse Foundation. Accessible only by boat, the island has become a pilgrimage destination for art tourists. From a room filled with Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’, which visitors may only enter after donning a pair of white slippers, to glowing James Turrell artworks, read more about Naoshima’s remarkable art spaces here.

And don’t miss our interview with Kusama from 2011. When asked what was the first piece of art that really mattered to her, the artist said: ‘Paper works with polka dots painted with my fingers that I made when I was a child.’