Sunday, December 05, 2021

Reading Minds,Drawing Souls

In India for her first exhibition,artist,musician,activist and wife of late John Lennon,Yoko Ono,talks about how the audience is key to her performance.

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti |
January 13, 2012 3:16:12 am

This is her second visit to India. But,Yoko Ono,multi-media artist,peacenik and,more famously,wife of the deceased Beatle John Lennon,thinks it’s as good as a maiden journey despite the memories she keeps from the trip with her cherished companion in the ’70s. “It’s very good to be here. The previous visit was just to enjoy India. John had visited India earlier,and would talk about what a good time he had,so we decided to make a trip together. I am lucky to be here for over a week this time. I was slightly apprehensive when I reached. But things are just right. Maybe,a part of me is here,” said the 78-year-old at the Imperial Hotel,ahead of her first exhibition in the country,titled,Our Beautiful Daughters,being organised by Vadehra Art Gallery.

The exhibition,which opens today at the gallery’s space in Okhla Phase I,New Delhi will be accompanied by a parallel one titled The Seeds at the gallery’s Defence Colony space. There will also be public installations across 20 venues in the Capital,including the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art,India Habitat Centre,JNU’s School of Arts and Aesthetics,and British Council.

The primary exhibition is a fresh installation that Ono has done — an interactive piece,inviting the audience to share memories of their mother on the blank canvases set up in the gallery. “It has something to do with what was working on my mind. The title was inspired by the fact that I was coming here. I have such incredible love and respect for Indian women.”

The ancillary exhibition at Defence Colony is a collage of the artist’s important works created through her career,which includes her films,music and artwork. The public art installations are of Ono’s famous Wish Tree. “I made that first in Los Angeles,where people did not seem to appreciate it. But when I made it later in Spain,I got a huge response. Ever since,I have done it in several parts of the world,” said Ono. The artist will also interact with craftspeople during her 10-day stay in the Capital.

Ono will also give a highly anticipated performance involving music ,To India With Love,at the India Habitat Centre on Sunday. “When I stand on a stage,I can almost read minds. I know my audience’s stories — what kind of a childhood they had,if they are married or not — and I draw material for my performance from there. In a way,the audience creates the performance. No two shows are the same,even if I try it again with the same audience. Perhaps,it’s because life is never the same,nor am I,” she said.

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