Yoko Ono: FLY [Shanghai, China]

Yoko Ono: FLY

from eflux.com

Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts

Yoko Ono-Fly
Nov 23 – Dec 15, 2008

Exhibition Opening:
November 22, 2008, 19:00
Kai Xuan Road 613-B,
Shanghai, 200051 China

http://www.kecenter.org

Exhibition Concept and Curator: Yoko Ono
Organized by Gunnar Kvaran and Biljana Ciric
Presented by Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts
Partner: Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
Special Thanks to Intrude 366 Art &Life Project, Zendai MoMA

Press Conference: November 21, 2008, 15:00 at Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts
Artist will be present at the opening and press conference.

From the time of her emergence in the New York art scene in the early 60’s, Yoko Ono has been reinventing herself and the philosophy of her working methods continually, making her a pioneer of avant-garde practices. Her art crosses and blends the boundaries of Fluxus, Conceptual Art, and Happenings, within which she has sustained her many different roles as artist, composer, poet, and antiwar activist for decades.

Yoko Ono’s work is not based in a studio practice, but rather closely connected to her way of living and approach to life. She wrote: “Art is not merely a duplication of life. To assimilate art in life is different from art duplicating life.” Ono is one of the rare figures in the field of contemporary art that through her unparalleled practice has reached millions over the world.

Her significance on the international art scene as a woman at a time when there weren’t many other woman being recognized for their contributions, and rarely Asian representatives as well, makes her contribution even more unique.

Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts is honored to present the exhibition Yoko Ono-Fly, Yoko Ono’s first solo exhibition in China. The show will present Yoko Ono’s diverse body of work from the early stages of her career through to her current work based on a series of instructions. The exhibition is organized with assistance from the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Gunnar Kvaran, and Biljana Ciric, the Ke Center’s curator.

Running alongside the presentation of Ono’s work in the Ke Center gallery spaces, the exhibition events will be spread throughout the city as well. Yoko Ono’s 20 FLY billboard ads will be spread throughout the subway system in Shanghai during the month of November, while her Instruction work will be placed in different venues around city in galleries, restaurants, bars, shops, and so on.

Ono’s work is often associated with the Fluxus movement and draws philosophically from such forms as Buddhism, haiku and Noh poetry, emphasizing minimalistic forms and suggestive imagery. Yoko Ono’s work was conceptual before the establishment of Conceptual Art. Instead of letting materials, media and methods lead the way of the creative act, Yoko Ono works form a foundational concept, which she does not elaborate upon visually, but rather with words that are at once a description and a definition, and yet still allow considerable scope for the performer.

Using plain words, the artist sets up objects, events, and rituals—actions that are given a precise elaboration when fulfilled by the performer, materially and/or mentally.

The starting point is the word, which links her practice with literature and in particular to poetry. Many analysts of Yoko Ono’s art have rightly wanted to associate her Instructions with music and musical scores. Yoko Ono’s Instructions are not poems; they are visual works of art, a new type of art that has escaped or broken away from material elaboration on the part of the artist.

The broad reach of Yoko Ono’s artistic oeuvre brings together various event forms and performances, happenings, advertisement art, film and video, to instructions and music.

An act of destructive is a notion that appears in many of Yoko Ono’s works especially after the 80’s, but most of the time followed by a thought of hope. In these works it’s more about the world seen from an outside perspective, where the artist draws attention to and forces the viewer to confront more or less horrifying events as in the Exit piece.

Once John Lennon said about Yoko Ono that she is “the world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.” This exhibition aims to present the achievement of this unique figure, who if we were to define her as an artist would only result in the limiting of her vast contributions.

Ono, Here She Comes Again!

by Kit Gillet, China International Business

Ono

John Lennon once described Yoko Ono as “the world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.”

Regardless of your views on Yoko Ono’s role in the break-up of The Beatles, one thing that can be safely said about her since she emerged on the New York art scene in the 1960s is that her avant-garde approach to art is both pioneering and worthy of attention.

Running for three weeks at the Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts in Shanghai, Fly is her first solo exhibition in China, and presents a diverse body of work from the earliest stages of her career right through to her most recent projects.

As an artist who seems to continually reinvent herself, Yoko Ono’s conceptual art pieces often embody the differing roles she has pursued so far in life: artist, mother, composer, poet, filmmaker and antiwar activist, to name but a few.

From her Mommy is Beautiful photography series, taken around the UK city of Liverpool and depicting the maternal aspects of the cityscape by interposing images of the female anatomy; to Ex It, an exhibition piece that forces viewers to interact with rows of coffins, the exhibition is confrontational and thought-provoking.

By using simple objects, taken out of the context of their supposed purposes and rituals, Ono can comment on the different approaches and ways of life. “Art is not merely a duplication of life,” she has said in the past. She added: “To assimilate art in life is different from art duplicating life.”

Ono has also often used or worked extensively with the advertising media to adopt far-reaching political messages — think back to the 1967 Bed-In For Peace with John Lennon — and, running concurrently with the exhibition, Ono’s works have been spread throughout the city on billboards and on the subway. Her Instruction pieces — visual works of art that have broken away from material elaboration — can also be found in galleries, restaurants, bars and shops across Shanghai.

By bringing an exhibition of her work to China, the gallery is paying homage to the achievements of this remarkable artist, who, even if not for the fame she received as the wife of John Lennon, would probably still have become a seminal influence across the world over the past few decades.

Yoko Ono – Fly
November 23 – December 15,
Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts, 613B Kaixuan Lu, Shanghai
www.kecenter.org
T: (+86 10) 6131 3080

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
Backstage- cool and collected ready for dancing! 

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
Opening event- Yoko makes speech and does ONOCHORD to a crowds of people waiting to get into exhibition

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
Onochord

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
Onochord

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
At end of press conference, Yoko informs press that she would like her name to appear as ‘Yoko’ in Chinese. She wrote this in calligraphy for the audience

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
In the excitement of the event, she wrote the caligraphy on a window shade by accident. Oops!

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
At the opening at the Ke Art Center, hundreds of people had to wait outside to get into the exhibition!

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
Inside, the show was really crowded!

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
People lined up to write on the ‘My Mommy is Beautiful’ wall

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
Wish Tree started to fill up with tags..

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
More people were allowed into the exhibition

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
A new work by Yoko – a cocoon piece

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
He loved it

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
After the opening, Yoko danced the night away

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
The backdrop behind her was used for the press conference.
It says LAUGH

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
People mendiing at Mend Piece

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
The pottery pieces kept dissapearing!
Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
So many people were writing on the ‘My Mommy is Beautiful’ wall

Yoko Ono in Shanghai: Nov 2008 by you.
Keep mending!

Yoko Ono: ‘The only thing I can do is be myself’

YOKO Ono at 75 is holding her first exhibit in China – including works that have shocked and awed. The legendary firebrand talks to Yao Minji about art, loneliness, controversy and John Lennon. 

John Lennon once described his muse and lover Yoko Ono as “the world’s most famous unknown artist: Everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.”

That’s also true in China, where most people experienced neither the dawn of the conceptual art movement nor the glory days of the Beatles.

The 75-year-old conceptual artist, composer, poet, feminist and anti-war activist had never been to China until she brought her retrospective exhibition to the Shanghai Ke Center for Contemporary Art this week. The show “Yoko Ono: FLY” runs through December 19.

It features 25 pieces of installation art, music, and other works over Ono’s 50 years as an artist.

Ono told Shanghai Daily that she would have come much earlier but she never received an official invitation as an artist. Perhaps her works were too controversial, too sexual, too forceful. She has a reputation for speaking out on the issues and for being difficult to control.

It was a quieter, at least on the surface, Ono who visited Shanghai. Unusual for her, Ono attended both the exhibition press conference and the opening in the rather obscure art venue in Changning District.

Works include some of her most famous and controversial works, such as the 1970 short film “Fly” (a single fly moves over Ono’s naked motionless body, a statement about sexual desire) and the 2004 installation “My Mummy Was Beautiful” (two poster-sized color photographs, one of a vagina, the other of a breast.) Some people were outraged in 2004, but Ono doesn’t think Chinese will be offended.

Jessica Xu, a 26-year-old art student, viewed the exhibition and says: “I don’t get offended by the photos at all. After all, there is more provocative stuff in contemporary art. And she only showed photos of what we really are.”

In Shanghai, white posters and billboards in some Metro stations and galleries bear the single word in black, “Fly.”

The artist is known both as the legendary inspirational lover who “captured” Lennon and the eccentric old lady who once was avant-garde and still gets a lot of press and criticism. Some say she’s passe.

As hundreds of curious reporters tried to guess what she would be like in person, Ono showed up in a sharply cut black suit, a trendy white brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses, looking younger and more fashionable for her age than many expected. She was also milder, less strident than in other appearances.

She answered all questions patiently and softly and was quite reserved in her comments in Shanghai, considering her reputation as outspoken, fierce and headstrong.

The woman fighter could also be sweet. At first, she pleased Chinese reporters by praising the size and the unique architecture of Pudong International Airport.

“As I landed at the airport, I suddenly felt how remarkable it was for Marco Polo when he came to China, how he was in awe,” she says.

Ono further narrowed the distance by mentioning classic Chinese literature like “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” that she grew up reading in Japan (she is now a US citizen). She also wrote her first name “Yoko” in Chinese calligraphy, Yangzi.

Surprisingly, Ono also says this was the first time she received an official invitation to China as an artist, otherwise she would have loved to visit earlier.

But beneath her moderated exterior, she seems to remain a woman of many stories who acutely observed the place and the crowds from behind her sunglasses. Her supreme confidence, legendary defiance and contradictory emotions leaked through in her comments.

Acknowledging her loneliness, Ono particularly stresses the significance of “myself” and “work” in her life. Born to a rich Japanese banking family in Tokyo, Ono received an early music education, which triggered her artist career. She entered the conceptual art field, she says, because she wanted to be different from her music-loving banker father and artist mother.  

“The only thing I can do is to be myself. And who I am, quite often, makes me quite lonely. It’s usually better for people to be really yourself than copying somebody. So I’m proud that I’m myself. I’m not trying to be avant-garde, that is me,” says Ono.

She considers work the most important part of her life, saying, “I have such an incredible belief in my work.” Regardless of what’s popular today, Ono has been sticking to two major themes – world peace and feminism – for the past 50 years. 

Many people still remember, or have heard of, her performance piece “Cut Piece” in 1964, in which spectators were invited to go on stage and cut off her clothes until she was naked. Since then, sexuality and emotional suffering have been recurring themes in her works.

“In terms of feminism, I don’t think I’m being selfish as a woman. We are ignoring women’s power. The huge energy of women is not being used for society and it’s not good for society,” says Ono.

Her exhibition in Shanghai includes “My Mummy Was Beautiful,” a piece that some say unfairly sums up motherhood with just two graphic pictures – one of the vagina, and one of the breast. The work stirred outrage when it was shown at the Liverpool Biennale in 2004 and many people demanded the removal of the pictures. The pictures stayed.

My Mummy Was Beautiful  My Mummy Was Beautiful

“I was surprised because I thought British people were hip,” Ono says. “But meanwhile, they kept taking the (Mommy) posters and selling them on eBay,” says Ono. “This time (in Shanghai), I would not show it if I thought it would anger people. But I thought Chinese people would understand it because they are philosophical. The Chinese who will come to the show are very intelligent and I want to challenge them.”

Confident as always, the artist doesn’t appear concerned if people don’t appreciate or accept her work because “people don’t know about me at all. She believes that only those who share her opinions will understand her.

“And it doesn’t bother me when many people don’t,” says Ono. “I have such incredible belief in my work. When the critics don’t appreciate my work, I will think they are not very good critics.”

On the other hand, Ono is thankful that “I’ve never dried up as an artist.” She attributes her inspiration to all the difficulties she has been through, including marriage to Lennon.

“It (the marriage) was difficult and I think I sacrificed my work a lot, but it was worth it because we really fell in love with each other,” says Ono. “And it was also good for my work because it was a challenge. We learn a lot through difficulties. It was an entirely different environment and I started having so many fresh ideas. I kept going into difficult situations.” 

These days, she is working in the studio in New York on her next album, expected to released early next year. 

“Yoko Ono – Fly”
Date: through December 19, 10am-8pm
Address: 613 Kaixuan Rd
Tel: 6131-3080



Application to attend the opening reception of Yoko Ono’s Exhibition FLY here.

 

Yoko Ono plans solo exhibit in Shanghai

BEIJING, Oct. 15 — Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, is perhaps most famous for her association with John Lennon. But outside their marriage, she is a first-class artist in her own right.

Now, the still-vigorous 75-year-old will open her first Chinese solo exhibition at Shanghai’s Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts on November 22. The title of the exhibition is “Yoko Ono: FLY.”

Ono will give a display of performance art, named Onochord, on the opening day.

Not only is Ono the artist – she is also the exhibition organizer.
She has been preparing the event since last year.

Nine significant installation artworks reflect her experiences and thoughts over 50 years. Her artworks are simple but powerful, focusing on life and death, renaissance, exchange, faith, women’s liberation, and peace.

Her 1960s film “Fly” will also be screened during the exhibition. The film is very simple: a fly on a motionless woman. The woman is as if in a coma; the only thing that moves is the fly, settling on different parts of the woman. The film is superficially boring, but expresses sexual desire through the fly’s every tiny movement. Ono has said that the film is a form of self-expression.

Another installation artwork is called “Exit.” Ono created it in 1997. One hundred coffins are laid out on the ground and pine trees are planted in the places where the faces of the deceased should be. The flourishing pine trees symbolize the live of the faces before they died.

“Wish Tree” which debuted in 2004 will also be at the exhibition – a work in which Ono invited passersby to write their hearts’ deepest desires on small paper tags and tie them to one of 21 crepe myrtle trees planted in recycled wine barrels.

Yoko Ono Lennon, born in Tokyo on February 18, 1933, is a Japanese artist and musician best-known for her avant-garde work, and her marriage to and work with musician John Lennon.

(Source: China.org & Xinhuanet.com)

Yoko Ono: FLY

Exhibition Concept and Curator: Yoko Ono
Organized by Gunnar Kvaran and Biljana Ciric
Presented by Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts
Co-presented by Guang Dong Art Museum
Partner: Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
Special Thanks to Intrude 366 Art &Life Project, Zendai MoMA
Media support: ICS, Art China, Art World, The Bund, Time Out, That’s shanghai, Vision, Talk Magazine, Touch media
Website support:Ionly, Art-ba-ba, Sohu

Exhibition Opening: November 22, 2008, 19:00
Exhibition Period: November 23 to December 15, 2008
Press Conference: November 21, 2008, 14:00
Artist will be present at the opening and press conference. 

www.kecenter.org

From the time of her emergence in the New York art scene in the early 60’s, Yoko Ono has been reinventing herself and the philosophy of her working methods continually, making her a pioneer of avant-garde practices. Her art crosses and blends the boundaries of Fluxus, Conceptual Art, and Happenings, within which she has sustained her many different roles as artist, composer, poet, and antiwar activist for decades.

Yoko Ono’s work is not based in a studio practice, but rather closely connected to her way of living and approach to life. She wrote: “Art is not merely a duplication of life. To assimilate art in life is different from art duplicating life.” Ono is one of the rare figures in the field of contemporary art that through her unparalleled practice has reached millions over the world.

Her significance on the international art scene as a woman at a time when there weren’t many other woman being recognized for their contributions, and rarely Asian representatives as well, makes her contribution even more unique.

Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts is honored to present the exhibition Yoko Ono-Fly, Yoko Ono’s first solo exhibition in China. The show will present Yoko Ono’s diverse body of work from the early stages of her career through to her current work based on a series of instructions. The exhibition is organized with assistance from the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Gunnar Kvaran, and Biljana Ciric, the Ke Center’s resident curator.

Running alongside the presentation of Ono’s work in the Ke Center gallery spaces, the exhibition events will be spread throughout the city as well. Yoko Ono’s 20 FLY billboard ads will be spread throughout the subway system in Shanghai during the month of November, while her Instruction work will be placed in different venues around city in galleries, restaurants, bars, shops, and so on.

Ono’s work is often associated with the Fluxus movement and draws philosophically from such forms as Buddhism, haiku and Noh poetry, emphasizing minimalistic forms and suggestive imagery.

Yoko Ono’s work was conceptual before the establishment of Conceptual Art. Instead of letting materials, media and methods lead the way of the creative act, Yoko Ono works form a foundational concept, which she does not elaborate upon visually, but rather with words that are at once a description and a definition, and yet still allow considerable scope for the performer.

Using plain words, the artist sets up objects, events, and rituals―actions that are given a precise elaboration when fulfilled by the performer, materially and/or mentally.

The starting point is the word, which links her practice with literature and in particular to poetry. Many analysts of Yoko Ono’s art have rightly wanted to associate her Instructions with music and musical scores. Yoko Ono’s Instructions are not poems; they are visual works of art, a new type of art that has escaped or broken away from material elaboration on the part of the artist.

The broad reach of Yoko Ono’s artistic oeuvre brings together various event forms and performances, happenings, advertisement art, film and video, to instructions and music.

Her work with advertising media, which she began in 1964 (of which the most famous piece is probably War is Over, 1969), helped her to reach a wider audience and to adopt the message form as a medium. The piece War is Over, created together with partner John Lennon, was part of the couples Peace Campaign of 1969-1970, launched after their public honeymoon in Holland. As for her films, they can be divided into the groupings: Fluxus films, films in collaboration with Lennon between 1968-1971, and a number of film scores.

Her conceptual photographic work Mommy is Beautiful, showed around the city of Liverpool, England during its Biennale, shows a woman’s breast and vagina, depicting the maternal aspects of the female body and touching upon the personal memories and social stereotypes projected onto these bodies.

An act of destructive is a notion that appears in many of Yoko Ono’s works especially after the 80’s, but most of the time followed by a thought of hope. In these works it’s more about the world seen from an outside perspective, where the artist draws attention to and forces the viewer to confront more or less horrifying events as in the Exit piece.

Once John Lennon said about Yoko Ono that she is “the world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.” This exhibition aims to present the achievement of this unique figure, who if we were to define her as an artist would only result in the limiting of her vast contributions. 

Facts about Yoko Ono

John Lennon once described her as “the world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.”

Ono produced sixteen films between 1966 and 1982 using film to record in real time settings with human presence at their centers. In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married, and by that time the couple had already released a joint album called Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins… 

Her activism helped to construct an important part of cultural history in the form of an international peace movement that traveled the world over from 1969 into the 1970’s. On the night of John Lennon’s death, Ono had just finished recording what was to become widely recognized as her pop masterpiece “Walking On a Thin Ice”.

Ono funded the construction and maintenance of the Strawberry Fields Memorial in New York City’s Central Park, across from where Ono and Lennon once lived and where John died. It was officially dedicated on October 9, 1985, which would have been his 45th birthday.

In 2000, she founded the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Japan.

On October 9, 2007, Ono dedicated a new memorial called the Imagine Peace Tower, located on the island of Videy, 1 km outside the Skarfabakki harbor, Reykjavík, Iceland. Each year, between October 9 and December 8, it projects a vertical beam of light high into the sky.

Ono performed at the opening ceremony for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, wearing white like many of the others who performed during the ceremony, to symbolize the snow that makes the Winter Olympics possible. She read a free verse poem from a prepared script calling for peace in the world. The poem was an intro to a performance of the song “Imagine”, Lennon’s anthem to world peace.

Yoko Ono’s MySpace page gathered more than 22000 admirers, as is the same with her Facebook account, making her even more present in today’s media and world.

From Ke Centre website.

kelogo
Yoko Ono: FLY
Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts
613-B Kai Xuan Lu, Chang Ning District, Shanghai, 200051, China
Email: [email protected] Tel: 0086-21-61313080 Fax: 86-21-61313080-221


The Yoko Ono’s solo show is now postponed to Nov. 2008.
Ke center is regretting for all the inconvenience caused to all the supporting media.
Ke center asks for your understanding and patience to continue supporting all of our upcoming events.
We will make relevant announcements promptly on the Ke Center website.

Yoko Ono is one of the most significant artists living today.
With her celebrated instructions, performances, installations, films, music, sculptures and photography she has remained at the vanguard of contemporary art since the 1960s.
Exhition presented in Shanghai and few other cities around China is curated by Yoko Ono herself and includes selection of Yoko Ono’s most important piece….

Collaborating together with Zendai MoMA and Intrude project during her solo show in Shanghai will be 30 advertisment bilboards throughout city.  Exhibition is organized by Biljana Ciric and Gunnar Kvaran.

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2008-12-14T08:15:07+00:00 December 8th, 2008|Events & Exhibitions|