HIROSHIMA, JAPAN - In 1989 the city of Hiroshima, first place in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, established the Hiroshima Art Prize with the object of promoting through art the "spirit of Hiroshima" that yearns for permanent world peace and prosperity for all humanity. ARTKABINETT collector members have admired her visual and acoustic art installations for almost 50 years.
The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art is to stage an exhibition showcasing the work of the eighth prize winner, Yoko Ono. Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art was established on May 3, 1989. The first public art museum in Japan devoted exclusively to contemporary art, it is located in the Hijiyama Park which has a splendid view of Hiroshima and is famous for its cherry blossoms.
Yoko Ono is one of the world’s most famous Japanese people, primarily using her fame and money to promote art and peace. Her peace activism has recently been recognised through the Hiroshima Art Prize. Even at 78, she has a certain rock-star grace, no doubt shaped by her marriage to John Lennon.
In trademark fedora hat and sunglasses, she addressed a full-capacity audience on August 4 at Mori Art Museum with a message for Japan in its post-quake state.
Creating new, unfettered forms of artistic expression Sending messages of love and peace
In a creative avant-garde career spanning over half a century, Yoko Ono, born in Tokyo in 1933, has pushed the boundaries of art with her command of an abundance of media including visual arts, performance, music, film and poetry.
Her works, which aim to stimulate the imagination and encourage viewers to take part in their actual production, have been highly acclaimed as pioneering examples of the conceptual art that has emerged as a current of contemporary art since the 1960s. Since then she has continued to create new forms of artistic expression unconfined to any specific genre.
In addition to her practice as an avant-garde artist, Ono became actively involved in the peace movement, staging numerous joint peace events and anti-war campaigns with John Lennon following their marriage in 1969, their message becoming symbolic of the international peace movement that spread across the globe in the 1970s. Ono has maintained her dedication to the cause of peace and love even after Lennon's death.
For Ono, the 1945 victims — the hibakusha — have become agents of peace. The cities’ remarkable recoveries, and Hiroshima’s efforts toward international nuclear disarmament have helped Japan to completely move on from the war. The victims have transcended their terrible fate and made something productive from their suffering.
This is peace in action. Survivors of the Tohoku tsunami should look to the legacies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, according to the artist. During the long rebuilding stage ahead, she urges survivors to dispel fears and anger, and lead peaceful lives. Ono urges that this is the only way to transcend the tragedy and make it into something positive.
Repose for souls and hope for the future: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Tohoku earthquake
Hiroshima and Nagasaki together constitute one of the greatest tragedies experienced in the history of mankind. Now we have the recent Tohoku earthquake that claimed the lives of so many.
This exhibition taking Yoko Ono's message to the world will center on repose for the souls of those who have experienced these tragedies, and new installations setting out a path of hope for the future.
Past Recipients of Hiroshima Art Prize
Past recipients include: Issey Miyake (fashion), 1st Hiroshima Art Prize recipient; Robert Rauschenberg (fine art), the 2nd Hiroshima Art Prize recipient; Nancy Spero and Leon Golub (fine art), the 3rd Hiroshima Art Prize recipients; Krzysztof Wodiczko (fine art), the 4th Hiroshima Art Prize; Daniel Libeskind (architecture), the 5th Hiroshima Art Prize recipient; Shirin Neshat (fine art), the 6th Hiroshima Art Prize recipient; and Cai Guo-Qiang (fine art), the 7th Hiroshima Art Prize recipient.