Born in 1933 in Tokyo, Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist. Ono achieved critical acclaim in 1980 with the album Double Fantasy, a collaboration with Lennon released three weeks before he was shot. Ono held retrospective exhibitions at Whitney Museum, Japan Society, Museum of Modern Art New York, Schirin Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. In 2009, Ono received the Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Biennale.
Ono is regarded as a pioneer of conceptual art and performance art. She performed the seminal work Cut Piece (1964-66) in Kyoto, Tokyo, New York, and London. Dressed on stage with a pair of scissors, Ono invited members of the audience to cut off pieces of her clothing as she sat silently. Her performance was intended to confront issues of gender, class, and cultural identity.
Ono has been an activist for peace and human rights since the 1960s. Both Ono and Lennon became close to many radical counter-culture leaders. Ono remains outspoken in her support of feminism and against the evils of racism and sexism. In 2020, Ono created two banners with messages of hope Dream Together on the façade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In Bangkok, her photo of Cut Piece is placed on the façade of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.
Cut Piece, 1964/1965
Performed by the artist as part of New Works of Yoko Ono, Carnegie Recital Hall, New York City, March 21, 1965
Photo: Minoru Niizuma
© Yoko Ono
Courtesy of Yoko Ono