Since the early 1960s, Yoko Ono has been inspiring the world. The hope for peace and freedom has always been an essential element and driving power behind her creative philosophy. Her artistic messages have challenged the world’s existing values and inspired people to exercise their own imagination for the future, especially in such times when the society is forced to change.

This summer, Ono was honored with The 8th Hiroshima Art Prize, a triennial award given to artists for their contributions to world peace. In conjunction, at the Hiroshima City Art Museum, she presented a solo exhibition, “THE ROAD OF HOPE”, which reminds us of the recovering experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the tragedy of the atomic bomb and the hope for the recovery of Japan from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Yoko Ono says:

“The strength of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which has enabled them to overcome profound sorrow and suffering thanks to an indomitable sprit and the power of the human mind, offers a ray of hope for the world today.

Humanity’s greatest wisdom lies in its psychic energy, our superpowers, if you like, a brilliant intellectual force that emerges from the depths of our consciousness at times of our crisis, and has the power to move mountains purely by hope.”

– Yoko Ono, 2011, ‘Trust in The Power of Human Intellect’ (from The 8th Hiroshima Art Prize The Road of Hope Yoko Ono 2011 exhibition catalogue)

Now that the Japanese society is confronted with the invisible atomic threats brought by the natural forces of March 11, Ono’s work sends a powerful message to our hearts, as if lighting up the individuals’ own imagination and superpower we possess.

“Hoping that my love will help you draw on your own personal superpowers.”

– Yoko Ono, 2011, ‘Trust in The Power of Human Intellect’ (from The 8th Hiroshima Art Prize The Road of Hope Yoko Ono 2011 exhibition catalogue)

In the exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery, LIGHT (original title in Japanese 灯 あかり) , Ono will present a variety of works to bring light to the Japanese people in the wake of the tragic earthquake. Among the works in the exhibitions are: TO THE LIGHT, a large maze which people can walk through to find a light in the center; INVISIBLE PEOPLE, transparent human-shaped figures standing in dim lights in the darkness; works from REMNANTS, arranged and displayed broken furniture from a house that was destroyed in the Great East Japan Earthquake. Based on one of the works from REMNANTS, Ono created an edition work titled AIR CLOCK and will release it to the public for the first time in this exhibition. Ono will also inscribe messages of her hopes and thoughts in the gallery space with Japanese calligraphy.


Yoko Ono was born in Toyo in 1933 and after finishing her study in philosophy in Japan, she moved to New York in 1953 and became part of the city’s vibrant avant-garde activities. Since the 1960’s Ono has had many exhibitions and performances around the world, many of which are now historically well remembered for their contributions to the progress of art history.

Ono’s artistic formats have varied from fine art, music, film, performance, and poetry and she has influenced key artistic movements including, Fluxus, Conceptual Art, Video Art and Feminism.

She has had numerous exhibitions in museums, including the retrospective exhibition, Y E S YOKO ONO, organized by the Japan Society in New York and traveled 6 cities in North America from 2000-2002. It also traveled in Asia from 2003 to 2004, including 5 cities in Japan (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Hiroshima Contemporary Art Museum, Mito Art Center etc.) Recent large-scale museum show includes YOKO ONO BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD (Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany/ BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England, 2008-2009) In 2009 Ono participated in the Venice Biennale where she received the prestigious Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement. This will be her first solo exhibition with Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Tomio Koyama Gallery 7th, 6th floor

1-3-2-7F Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan 135-0024
tel: +81-3-3642-4090
fax: +81-3-3642-4091
email: [email protected]

10 December 2011 – 28 January 2012
opening reception: 10 December, 6-8pm
*Winter Holiday: 25 December – 4 January