Dots before your eyes in pumpkin patch

Over 200 artworks by "Queen of Polka Dots" Yayoi Kusama are being shown in M+ Museum's first special exhibition starting on Saturday, and among them are three pieces the Japanese contemporary artist has created especially for M+.

Also on Saturday, the museum in West Kowloon Cultural District will celebrate its first anniversary.

That marks the end of a free entrance arrangement, so general admissions visitors will be charged HK$120 or HK$60 as a concessionary price.

But to view the special exhibition Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now, which runs to May 14, they must pay HK$240 for a standard ticket and HK$150 for a concessionary for full access to all galleries.

Among the three special works 93-year-old Kusama has created for M+ are two yellow pumpkin sculptures covered in black dots that are already been placed in the museum's main hall for free public viewing. Pumpkins are a favorite Kusama subject and dots her best-known motif.

Another piece the museum commissioned is a large-scale installation titled Death of Nerves installed in the light well connecting the ground floor and the basement levels. It features her signature infinity nets and comes with a poem she wrote.

Her third creation for M+ is Dots Obsession: Aspiring to Heaven's Love. That is an immersive work in a mirrored studio with large balloons covered in white dots suspended from the ceiling.

Spanning from Kusama's earliest work to her most recent output, the show is organized chronologically and thematically to walk visitors through her wide range of works.

One of the most influential Asians in the history of contemporary art, Kusama was trained in traditional Japanese painting.

She moved to the United States in 1957 and soon established herself in American and European avant-garde for her unique and radical artistic language before she returned to Japan in 1973.

The exhibition will examine her career in Japan, the United States, Europe and beyond through six themes: Infinity, Accumulation, Radical Connectivity, Biocosmic, Death and Force of Life.

Walking into the exhibition, visitors will be greeted by a Kusama self portrait featuring her signature dots and favorite yellow color.

Curatorial deputy director Doryun Chong says the exhibition can attract over 100,000 visitors.

"We have just had two million visitors," he said. "I think we clearly have become a Hong Kong museum. So based on that we feel confident that even when the museum starts to charge people will come back."

M+ and MTR Corp have also joined hands to bring Kusama's work of the two yellow pumpkins to trains on Tuen Ma Line until December 27.

By scanning the QR codes in train compartments passengers can listen to an audio guide delivered by M+ curators introducing selected art work by the Japanese artist.