Celebrated for her unique aesthetic of ubiquitous polka dots, Kusama’s adaptation of the motif permeates her prolific oeuvre, ranging from drawings and prints to sizeable paintings and sculptural endeavors. Ai Chan (Dog) is one in a series of dog sculptures adorned with Kusama’s iconic dots produced between 2009 and 2014. Other examples from this series with various colour combinations have been featured in the acclaimed exhibition A Dream I Dreamed which travelled through Korea, China, Macao, Taiwan and India. This sculptural corpus emanates an intimate sentiment whereby each dog has been named individually, all ending with the Japanese affectionate suffix ‘chan’, usually used to refer to children, female family members and friends, following their first names. The name of the present work, ‘Ai’, meaning love, exudes the sense of tenderness and fondness Kusama had in creating this dog. Having experienced hallucinations of flora and fauna talking to her, the dog offers a more loveable and cheerful subject, as opposed to the more traumatic and menacing feelings that the artist associates with flowers and plants which gives forms to the majority of Kusama’s monumental outdoor sculptures. Despite the often claustrophobic arrangements of the polka dots, a visual manifestation of the artist’s confrontation with her mental illness, the round motif on Ai Chan is endowed with a sense of liveliness and gaiety. The tilted head and brightening smile of the dotted open-mouthed dog radiates exuberance, addressing and welcoming attention from viewers with an invigorating spirit.