Photo/IllutrationKabuki actor Matsumoto Koshiro, whose former name was Ichikawa Somegoro, stands with a panel that shows the new “iwaimaku” curtain featuring three pictures of world-acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on Jan. 23. (Tetsuro Takehana)

Bright, playful paintings from flamboyant artist Yayoi Kusama will be used as stage curtains at Kabuki performances in February to celebrate new generational names being adopted by members of a famous acting family.

The curtain created in 2017 features three colorful works on a black background and is titled “Let’s talk about life with love.”

They were chosen by Kusama and actor Matsumoto Koshiro, whose former name was Ichikawa Somegoro. They have been friends for two decades or so.

Matsumoto, along with his father and young son, is celebrating the traditional progression to the new names by acting in the January and February program at Tokyo's famed Kabukiza theater.

A panel emblazoned with a copy of the trio of paintings was unveiled to reporters at the theater on Jan. 23, with Matsumoto in attendance.

“These pictures have a sophisticated beauty, a kind that is shared by Kabuki performances,” Matsumoto said to reporters. “Kusama still says, ‘Let’s do something new.’ These pictures as well as her words give us energy.”

The special “iwaimaku” Kabuki cloth curtain is 7 meters high and 30 meters wide. It will be used Feb. 1-25 at the theater in Chuo Ward.

The curtain has been sponsored by supporters of the family and the featured images were chosen from among a series of Kusama's large-sized works “My Eternal Soul,” which she has been working on since 2009.

“People all over the world are touched with the wonderfulness of your succession to the predecessors’ names,” Kusama said in a statement. “I would like to congratulate you on the future where you will cultivate all of your lives.”