Yoko Ono, “WISH TREE,” 1996–2017, Living trees, blank paper tags with string, pens and artist’s instructions, Dimensions variable. Shanghai Himalayas Museum installation view, 2017


her marriage to Beatles’ lead John Lennon, since the 1960s Yoko Ono has also been known as a prolific artist. Though her experimental art ranges from performances and installations to films and songs, the unifying element of her practice is her exploration of different forms of wishing. In the Shanghai Project exhibition, Ono’s long commitment to spreading peace and love for the greater good of humanity is embodied in different forms. The works offer a glimpse of hope and comfort in the midst of an intensive and potentially daunting discussion about future and sustainability.

“WISH TREE,” one of Ono’s long-term projects, spanning over three decades and installed in many different countries. The installation invites the people of Shanghai to tie their wishes to the trunk of a native tree, carefully selected under the guidance of the artist. These keepsakes will later be sent to IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, where they will join the wishes of hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world.

Yoko Ono is an artist whose thought-provoking work challenges people’s understanding of art and the world around them. From the beginning of her career, she was a conceptualist whose work encompassed performance, instructions, film, music, sculpture, installation and writing.

Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933, and moved to New York in 1953, following her studies in philosophy in Japan. By the late 1950s, she had become part of the cityʼs vibrant avant-garde activities. In 1960, she opened her Chambers Street loft, where she hosted a series of radical performances and exhibited realizations of some of her early conceptual works. In 1969, together with John Lennon, she realized Bed-In, and the worldwide War Is Over! (if you want it) campaign for peace.

In 2007, Ono created the permanent installation IMAGINE PEACE TOWER on Viðey Island, Iceland, and continues to work tirelessly for peace with her IMAGINE PEACE campaign. In 2009 Ono received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale.