Yoko Ono – Wish Tree
By Madeline Bocaro
© Madeline Bocaro, 2019. No part of this site may be reproduced or re-blogged in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.
I have made many wishes on Yoko’s trees. All of my wishes are for her. It is incredible that another person dedicated a wish to Yoko as well…
‘We are enriched by the experiences of this woman laid bare for us here’
– Unknown (found on Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree, Paris 2003)
Wish Tree is Yoko’s popular and most endearing work. It has grown into a limitless worldwide forest of wishes, which she collects and places inside another of her works, the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik Iceland.
As a child, Yoko visited Japanese shrines where it is an old custom for people to purchase and tie pre-printed tags with messages onto trees. The wishes were simple, such as ‘Good Luck’ or ‘Good Health’. The multitude of white papers tied to the trees resembled blooming white flowers. Yoko decided that this time people should write their own wishes.
“Many of my works are related to something in my roots. Wish Tree comes from root experience as a child in Japan.” – Yoko
“The wishes that we make, even if it’s just written on paper and nobody sees it, I think they do affect the world and the universe.”
– To Hans Ulrich Obrist, The Architecture Interview, Van Alen Institute, NY, June 2008
Wish Tree descends from Yoko’s earlier work, Hammer A Nail.
Yoko’s 1961 version in her book Grapefruit– asked us to tie a piece of our hair on the nails.
Wish Tree, which began in 1981 has become Yoko’s most popular and beloved work. The seeds have been spread worldwide, and forests of wishes are forever growing. Yoko collects all of our wishes and places them inside the wishing well in another of her amazing works, Imagine Peace Tower in the Isle of Videy Iceland.
Watch Piece I
Watch a hundred-year-old tree breathe.
Thank the tree in your mind for showing us how to grow and stay.
– Yoko, Acorn – 2013
Send your wish now!
“Sometimes I put a bowl at the window in my kitchen. There, I plant seeds of vegetables that I eat. They keep on growing. I watch them every day. The plants watch me too. They understand exactly what I’m thinking about. So when I’m sad, the plants hang their heads too, and when my sadness lasts for a long time, they turn yellow and finally they fade. When I feel well, they do not fade, even if I don’t give them any water. Scholars all over the world show scientific evidence for such relationships between human beings and plants. Lately, there are many people who talk to plants and trees. People who think this is absurd abuse their common sense. I think this is a prejudice produced by society, and I believe that those people are so stuck by this that they cannot react naturally.”
– Just Me! – Essays by Yoko Ono Compiled by Takahiko Iimura
Translated from Japanese by Barbara Conrady
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