The highly anticipated exhibit, Infinity Mirrors by Yayoi Kusama has finally arrived at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. I've been looking forward to this since we saw Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013) last summer at the Broad in L.A.
There are thousands of photos out there so rather than post more of the same, I thought it would be helpful to share a less common perspective and my tips on how to make the most of your visit.
I received a few questions after I posted these tips to my Instagram Stories so I've included those. Keep in mind that depending on the day/time you visit, your experience may vary :)
The AGO has a good visitor's guide so be sure to read their official details.
Tip: Because everyone is randomly placed into the digital queue, I found that it helped to have multiple unique tabs across different browsers/devices open to increase the chance of getting a good spot.
How did you get tickets?
I purchased them through the AGO website. I wouldn't recommend buying from someone unless you know and trust them. It's too easy to be scammed.
For me, I was able to get tickets if there were around 3,000 or less people in front of me in line. This also depends on how many tickets are released that day.
The next public sale is March 27 (mark your calendars!) or March 20 for members (tickets are free for members but you still need to order one.
On Wednesdays after 6 pm, tickets are $15. If you use the Library Pass Program or other special passes, you can get tickets for $15 but will have to line up at 10 AM in person and try your luck.
Tip: You could buy a single ticket for a time slot and your friend(s) could buy a single for the next/similar time slot and meet inside. Since admittance is only in 15min intervals, you wouldn't have to wait long for each other and once inside the AGO, you can enter the rooms together.
What about single tickets?
When tickets were available on sale this past week, I noticed single tickets were available.
There are very limited tickets on site and they were gone before we left (around 2pm). People lined up before the gallery opened.
Lines and Wait Times
How long are wait times?
For each of the 6 rooms, lines could be anywhere from 5-10min depending on the time/day. The AGO staff did a great job of keeping lines flowing with strict timekeeping per room, with stopwatches and 5-second warnings :)
Our timed tickets were for 10:45am (the AGO opens at 10:30) so there were already people in line to enter but that moved along smoothly once doors were open. If possible, buy tickets with the earliest timeslots (10:30 or 10:45am). Generally, there will be less people in the gallery or ahead of you in line.
Purchasing tickets in 3s is popular, possibly because some rooms are limited to 3 people so there's less chance of splitting up your party.
Tip: If the line to a room is long and you don't mind splitting from your group, what we did was volunteer as a single and were moved to a shorter queue (usually). I joined another pair ahead which saved some wait time.
How much time did you spend altogether?
In total about 3-4 hours. We took our time through the entire Kusama exhibit and her other works were on display so be sure to visit those.
Theres also the rest of the art gallery to see so you could spend a few hours.
What can you bring inside?
Don’t bring a backpack or even a medium-sized purse if you don’t absolutely need to. The exhibit rooms are small so you can’t bring it in anyway. There are storage bins just outside each room, but it's more of a hassle to remove it each time.
There is coat check at $1 per item.
Are photos/videos allowed?
Photos and videos are allowed in all but one of the rooms due to an incident a sculpture was broken from a selfie mishap. Respect the art/artist and the rules in place :)
Tip: If you're shooting manual, try to get your camera settings ready while waiting in line. Take a peek into the room when people enter/leave to get a sense of the lighting situation.
What camera and lens did you bring?
I brought a camera with a 35mm lens but if I had a wider lens like a 24mm or maybe even wider, I would've brought that. I also used my phone.
While it does get dark in some of the rooms, the mirrors and lights can produce a decent amount of light.
Using the “kingpilot” Green P code and other codes (see their Twitter), get 2 hours of free parking through the app per code. Some codes may not work anymore but just try another one.
Closest spots to AGO:
- A few spots on Beverly, south end near Queen
- Queen St. W
Check this map for areas that are within the King St pilot area
"I have been painting, sculpting, and writing for as long as I an remember. But to tell the truth, to this day I do not feel that I have 'made it' as an artist.
All of my works are steps in my journey, a struggle for truth that I have waged with pen, canvas, and materials."
- Yayoi Kusama, 2002
Lastly, don't forget to visit Kusama's Narcissus Garden on the second floor.
For less-commonly-shared scenes from the exhibit, check out my Instagram Stories (if you're viewing from a desktop, click on my Instagram profile picture to view Stories). I hope this helps to maximize your visit:) Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below.