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An Instagrammer’s Guide To Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors”

Photograph by Eikoh Hosoe.

When one of Yayoi Kusama’s mirror-strewn “infinity rooms” came to New York in 2013, there were six-hour waits to get in and snap what was called “the trendiest selfie in town.” Her new tour, debuting at the Hirshhorn this week, has six rooms, including one speckled with LED lights, which New York’s the Cut dubbed “the Instagram you’re going to see everywhere.” Social-media participation is “part of the experience,” says curator Mika Yoshitake. “It’s in line with her vision of communal engagement.” We consulted a few Instagrammers on how to capture the perfect pic in Kusama’s spaces. The free exhibit is open from February 23 to May 14.

Get the Right Tools

Snapseed and VSCO are must-have apps, according to Gary Williams (@masterwilliams) of Creative Theory, a content-marketing firm. Use Snapseed to fine-tune photos with filters that play with the exhibit’s sparkly lights; VSCO can adjust exposure to help capture the darkened rooms. “If you’re shooting with an iPhone, look into more sophisticated camera apps, like Cortex Camera,” says Holly Garner, founder of Instagram DC (@igdc), a local photography community. “It helps with low light.”

#sneakpeek #yayoikusama #infinitymirrors #hirshhorn #infinitekusama

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Snap the Best Selfie

“Embrace that it is a mirror,” says Morgan West, founder of A Creative DC (@acreativedc), a group of social-media curators encouraging the city’s artsier side. “It’s the ultimate selfie opportunity.” Whether that’s the classic mirror shot or a more personal close-up is up to you—and which room you’re in. The sparkliest ones will be those with the lowest light, so avoid using flash. “I’m not a fan of flash for selfies—it washes out everything behind you,” says Garner. “Lighter clothing will also help.”

Obligatory Infinity Mirrored Room photo. ? #YayoiKusama #infinitymirrors #thebroad

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Embrace the Crowd

If you’re waiting for the perfect shot devoid of bystanders, it might be a while. Instead, use the throng to your advantage—Kusama’s creations make heavy use of mirrors and reflections, and groups of people can help reproduce the optical illusions in your image. “Maybe you can take a photo of other people there in a unique way,” says Creative Theory’s Tamon George (@tamon_), who recommends using reflections to confuse the viewer and amplify the elements in the room.

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Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.

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