Life in Polka Dots explores artist Yayoi Kusama’s journey from a conservative upbringing in Japan to her brush with fame in America during the 1960s.


Filmmakers: Heather Lenz
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Format: HD








Kusama: Life in Polka Dots is a feature documentary about Yayoi Kusama. The film explores Kusama’s fierce determination to become a world-renowned artist. Kusama was born into a conservative family in rural Japan and she made her way to America on the heels of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love, making art. On her first day in New York, Kusama has stated that she climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, looked down upon the city below, and made a decision to stand out from everyone she saw below and become a star. During her career she received one of the world’s most prestigious art prizes, the Praemium Imperiale Laureate for lifetime achievement in painting, and she was called as ‘the most popular artist’ and one of the ‘most expensive living female artist’ in 2014.


Director: Heather Lenz

Producers: Dan Braun, David Koh, Karen Johnson and Heather Lenz

Executive producers: Josh Braun, Stanley F. Buchthal, Simone Haggiag and Alice Koh

Cinematography: Hideaki Itaya, Ken Kobland and Hart Perry