What do two of the most famous women in Japanese modern art and vintage French champagne share in common?
A good deal, according to Veuve Clicquot, the grand French champagne maison that has recently teamed up with the nonagenerian artist Yayoi Kusama for its limited-edition La Grande Dame 2012. The tipple is made from Pinot Noir grapes and is presented in a bottle decorated with Kusama’s signature polka dots, which resemble champagne bubbles. Encasing the bubbly is a gift box emblazoned with more dots and a vibrantly hued flower symbolising “vital energy, love and celebration of life”.
Despite living 150 years apart, both Madame Clicquot and Kusama share many traits, including a rebellious streak. Clicquot was a 27-year-old widow when she took over the business after her husband died in 1805. Kusama left from Japan to conquer New York’s 1960s art scene at age 28, and was a pioneer in immersive artistic experiences, such as her famed “Infinity Rooms” that allow viewers’ bodies and minds to become integral parts of the work.
This isn’t the first time the two women are meeting. Back in 2006, for a charity auction in Tokyo, Yayoi Kusama reinterpreted an original portrait of Madame Clicquot with her now-iconic polka dots pattern. Today, the dialogue continues between the House and the artist with a new collaboration titled “My Heart That Blooms in The Darkness of The Night”, in which the artist and Veuve Clicquot’s creative universes mix together in a daring and optimistic collaboration.
To celebrate the partnership, Kusama has also penned down a poem carrying the same title.
My Heart That Blooms in the Darkness of the Night
From all my heart,
the life of flowers flew away.
My everlasting affection for the flowers,
flew off beyond the universe
to show its vitality,
to gaze at the extremes of life.
– Yayoi Kusama
This story first appeared on Prestige Hong Kong
(All images: Yayoi Kusama/ Veuve Clicquot)