Rebirth and PurityRebirth and Purity

Rebirth and Purity

Rebirth and Purity
Jan, 04, 2022


Rebirth and Purity

Fireflies, also known as “lightning bugs”, are flighty little critters with a striking glow that dance through the night sky. For many of us, when we see fireflies for the first time, their magical presence becomes a fond memory we long remember. The essence of this memory is perfectly captured in Phoenix Art Museum’s treasured “infinity-room” installation by Yayoi Kusama, You who are getting obliterated in the dancing swarm of fireflies.

Lightning bugs have a long history in folklore and mythology across cultures and were often seen as remedies for poison and evil. Inspiring hope and guidance, these creatures were also symbolic markers for rebirth and purity. While not every single firefly in the various 2,000+ species glows, those that do are able to because of luciferin, a light-emitting compound that uses oxygen to generate bioluminescence. The flashing light is said to help these insects communicate, romance a partner, or deter predators. In Victorian tradition, if a firefly got into your house, it was a foretelling that someone in the house would die soon. Thank goodness that tradition has passed!

Immerse yourself in the dancing swarm of fireflies at Phoenix Art Museum, without prophecies of impending doom. Walk through this installation and experience bliss and hope for a good year to come.

Share this:

What can we help you find?

Need further assistance?
Please call Visitor Services at 602.257.1880 or email