Yoko Ono star of India-Japan friendship gala (With image)January 5th, 2012 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Conceptual and multi-media artist Yoko Ono, wife of late Beatles icon John Lennon, is the shining star of the 60th anniversary celebrations of India-Japan friendship that began Jan 1.
The three-month celebrations, “Passage to the Next Generation”, will bring to the capital Yoko Ono’s “Our Beautiful Daughters”, an art project to spread the message of gender empowerment.
The core of the project will be two gallery displays, “Our Beautiful Daughters” and “The Seeds” — and a performance art show, “To India With Love”.
The exhibitions will be accompanied by three public art projects, including the famous “Wish Trees”, a performance-installation art project that Oko Yono created in 1996.
The Yoko Ono art project which will open Jan 13 is a collaboration between the Vadehra Art Gallery and the Japan Foundation, the foundation announced in the capital Thursday.
The Japan Foundation will present a bouquet of more than 15 cultural events like the Water Station (drama), Looking IN & Out (drama), Journey to the West (an exhibition), an Origami workshop, Japanese Design Today 100 (exhibition), Kizuna Festival, Wallart Festival, Light Up Nippon (a social art project 2011 Tsunami victims), an amination workshop and several movies.
The theme of the friendship celebrations is a song that cultural and press attache Masahiro Nagira has composed for the occasion.
“The song is in four parts. The first section, ‘Flying to See You’ in Japanese is about a flight over the sea to see a long-time friend. It uses Japanese musical instruments like talko and koto. The second part , ‘Welcome’, is in Hindi and sung by school children from the capital. It is about welcoming a friend from a distant place. It features the sitar, sarod, dholak and tabla,” Nagira said.
The third segment of the friendship jingle, is “Life”, fusion of traditional Indian and Japanese instruments and the last part is “Dawn” - a English song, Nagira said.
Japanese ambassador Akitaka Saiki said in a statement: “Japan and India share long-standing historical ties and have maintained a close bond of friendship since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1952… In commemorating the 60th anniversary, we hope to share with our Indian friends the various cultural aspects of Japan — both traditional and cultural — especially more of contemporary Japanese culture.”
One of highlights of the cultural carnival is the Japanese Design Today 100 Feb 6-15 by the Japan Foundation. It will present 90 designs of household items that were produced during the 1990s and 13 iconic designs which were the roots of several contemporary design movements.
Four artists — two Japanese and two Indians — will paint on the walls of classrooms in Sujata village in Bodh Gaya at a Wall Art Festival. The paintings will later be exhibited in the capital.
The Japan Foundation will also present a retrospective of the new wave auteur Yasuzo Masumura for the first time in the capital.
Commenting on Yoko Ono’s art project, Yusuke Matsuoka, director of arts and cultural events at the Japan Foundation, told IANS, “We were looking for a contemporary art museum which could support the project but we did not come across one. We wanted it to be a non-commercial project to spread a message to the society. It is a very meaningful project. We selected Vadehra Gallery because it promoted meaningful projects.”
“The Japan Foundation was also reaching out to other venues like the Lakit Kala Akademi and the India International Centre with cultural projects,” he added.
Matsuoka said the “Wish Tree” public art project was very popular in Japan. “Two of the other projects are site-specific,” he said.
Recalling the history of “Wish Tree”, Parul Vadehra of Vadehra Art Gallery told IANS: “Yoko Ono first created the project in 1996 inspired by her childhood experience of visiting a temple in Japan”.
Yoko would jot down a wish on a scrap of paper and tie it to a branch of a tree. Since then, the artist-musician and filmmaker has travelled around the globe asking “people to write their own hopes and prayers on paper tags”.
In India too, Yoko will appeal to viewers to write their wishes for her installation.
The wishes, currently totalling over a million, will be sent to the Imagine Peace Tower, a memorial Yoko Ono had created for her slain husband John Lennon in 2007 in the Isle of Videy in Iceland.
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