Auckland Art Gallery Obliteration display wows public

Auckland Art Gallery's new The obliteration room display is proving to be its most popular in decades.

The living-room display is the creation of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The now 88-year-old suffered hallucinations as a child, which were her inspiration for this idea.

When it opened, the room was completely white, but it fast became an explosion of colour, as visitors stuck bright polka dots on any surface they could.

"We've had about 64,000 people through so far, and it only just opened before Christmas, which actually makes it actually the most visited exhibition for 30 years," says gallery director Rhana Devenport.

The obliteration room was created in 2002, with this being New Zealand's second installation after a previous display at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

It's proved popular across the globe, with the room being shown in England, Brazil, Mexico and Australia to name a few.

But unlike others, there's a distinctly South Pacific feel at the Auckland installation.

"We've got leis hung around photo frames and kete, flax weavings, on the floor and a much more open-plan New Zealand home that you'd find," says exhibition designer Hannah Manning-Scott.

The obliteration room will run until the beginning of April and it's free to enter.