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vadehra art gallery 13 January - 10 March, 2012 D-178 Okhla Phase 1, New Delhi 110020 Parallel exhibition

The Seeds

D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110024 Performance

To India With Love

15 January, 2012 Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Center, New Delhi 110003

Public Art Projects Various venues in Delhi

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Text: Julia Villaseñor Bell, Bhooma Padmanabhan Design and Layout: Suhani Arora Sen Printing: Solar Print Process Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi | In-house Curator: Vidya Shivadas Curatorial Assistance: Bhooma Padmanabhan, Julia Villaseñor Bell Exhibition Support team: Malini Ghanathe, Suruchi Chona, Harish Prakash, Girish Pathak, Jasmine Vasandani, Manavi Dang, Biraaj Dodiya and the entire Vadehra Art Gallery staff Scenographer: Vishal K Dar Special thanks to Yoko Ono’s staff: Connor Monahan, Amanda Keeley, Ellen Goldin, Andrew Kachel and the others at Studio One who helped with the exhibition For the installation REMEMBER US The Rangasutra team who facilitated the process of fabricating the covers: Keli, Tari Bai, Vari, Chandani, Sushila, Radha, Geeta, Kailash, Lakshmi, Bhawari, Kailash, Bhawari, Sumita Ghosh, Ruchi Tripathi, Ritu Suri, Nilofer and Kusum Rani Audio recording facilitated by Pratik Biswas For performance To India With Love Stage Manager: Daulat Vaid Musicians: Fateh Ali Khan and Gyan Singh Published by Vadehra Art Gallery on the occasion of YOKO ONO OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS New Delhi, 13 January – 10 March 2012 All images are © Yoko Ono (unless stated otherwise) © Vadehra Art Gallery 2012

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FOREWORD In 2012 Vadehra Art Gallery celebrates its 25th year and what better way to flag off the celebrations than with an exhibition by Yoko Ono! It is indeed our pleasure to host the firstever India exhibition of this internationally acclaimed artist. Since 2006 the Gallery has been broadening its programme to hold exhibitions of international artists, even as we remain committed to showcasing the best of contemporary Indian art. Bringing Yoko Ono to India for her first exhibition in the country is a momentous step in this direction. Yoko Ono’s work promises to generate unprecedented interest amongst Indian audiences given her prolific career as a peace activist, musician, and artist. While her fame cuts across generations, her practice also works at different registers. It is metaphysical, ephemeral and conceptual while all the time remaining accessible to the viewer. It blurs the boundaries between everyday life and art, and between spiritualism, poetry and political action. It invites participation and introspection from the audience and in fact depends wholly on this response for its activation and fruition as an art work. What is most exciting is the scale at which the project has been realised _ from exhibitions at two gallery spaces that provide us with an opportunity to view a wide range of Yoko Ono’s practice over the years, to a much-anticipated performance by the artist, and a series of public art projects at various venues in the city, all of which invite public participation. Yoko Ono famously stated “A dream that you dream alone is a dream. A dream that you dream together is a reality”. Over the past couple of years we have worked hard to bring this iconic artist’s work and message to Delhi, and are thrilled that this dream is now being realised. Standing at the threshold of an exciting two months ahead, we are thankful to Yoko Ono for making this possible.

Arun Vadehra Roshini and Parul Vadehra



OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS “Our beautiful daughters of the planet: each one of us is a being sent to earth to bring peace and happiness for all. Let’s have a clear vision about this. And know that this is the time to heal the world with WOMEN POWER. We can do it, and we will.” — Yoko Ono 2012

OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS is Yoko Ono’s first exhibition in India, and sets the ground for exploring her practice, spanning the last five decades, from a contemporary perspective. The exhibition provides the framework from which a globalised Indian audience can engage with Yoko Ono, an artist, performer, media practitioner and activist who has constantly moved between genres and across boundaries, resisting categorisation. This exhibition focuses on this very versatile quality that characterises her practice, and invites the audience to blur their definitions of art and life. The exhibition features some of her most well known artworks that touch upon the process of healing the world, a central concept to Yoko Ono’s endeavour IMAGINE PEACE. These works are what curator Alexandra Munroe might call ‘mind-transformative art’, ephemeral artworks that demand viewer participation for their activation, and which are profoundly positive and inspirational. Heal Together (2010) and Mend Piece (1966) are two such works which invite the viewer to partake in the process of reconstruction to create the artworks. The audience thus is absorbed in a process which is self-reflective and highly curative. The works speak of essential universal values of courage, peace and faith, and reiterate the power of collective will in bringing about change. OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS also brings into focus the issue of gender. Yoko Ono has always been committed to exploring the experiences of women and has created a special new installation for India, titled REMEMBER US, which engages the audience and sheds light on some of the challenges women face today. Apart from this latest installation, the exhibition recalls some of her legendary instruction-based works. The exhibition highlights the importance of peace, healing, the power of collective thinking, imagination, courage, and of course women power, all of which are at the core of Yoko Ono’s practice.

Yoko Ono performing Voice Piece for Soprano, 1961 Courtesy of Yoko Ono


Yoko Ono REMEMBER US 2012

Yoko Ono MEND PIECE 1966/2012

REMEMBER US, made especially for Yoko Ono’s first-ever exhibition in India, focuses on the experiences of women. This work is a further exploration of the installation touch me III that Ono showed at Galerie Lelong in New York in 2008.

Mend Piece was first shown at Indica Gallery, London in 1966. In subsequent versions, Ono invited visitors to engage in a ‘healing’ action by mending broken pieces of ceramic pottery. This meditative moment where one performs such a therapeutic act is a strong symbol in many of the artist’s works.

One floor of the gallery is filled with casts of women’s bodies. Audiences are invited to touch them and in the process come to terms with their feelings of compassion, love, empathy, identification, aggression, violence, acceptance, vulnerability and power that this act of touching unleashes in them. REMEMBER US urges audiences to revitalize and rethink a personal connection with the contemporary conditions experienced by women. REMEMBER US has an element of collaboration, with Ono extending an invitation to Indian craftswomen, to make embroidered covers for each of the figures. Like in her other works, Ono provided the women with an instruction – Cover Our Beautiful Daughters with your embroidery of a blue sky of your memory – and complete freedom in how they envisioned these covers.

Yoko Ono Mend Piece Installation View, “Between the Sky and My Head” BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK, 2008-2009 Photo by Amanda Keeley, © Yoko Ono

REMEMBER US for India Touch Cover and Remember Y.O. ’12



Yoko Ono MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL 1997/2012

Yoko Ono HEAL TOGETHER 2010/2012

A version of this work was first shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1997. The piece has been manifested in many different ways since. For India, Ono has chosen the participatory version of MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL, “a tribute to all the Mothers of the World from each of your children”. Here the audience is invited to create a memoir of their mother – the empty canvases on the gallery walls are to be filled with personal stories, remembrances and notes that speak of love, pain, and other complex emotions this relationship evokes.

HEAL TOGETHER is another participatory project where the visitor partakes in a creative and cathartic process. The audience is invited to mend, suture and stitch a slashed canvas on the wall with colourful threads and cloth patches creating a new collective piece. Ono addresses the issue of violence and the necessity of coming together to heal scars.

Yoko Ono My Mommy is Beautiful Installation View, “ANTON’S MEMORY” Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, Venice, 2009 Photo by Karla Merrifield, © Yoko Ono


Heal Together for India Be the air for our planet Heal Planet Heal Earth Heal us Y.O. ’12


Yoko Ono VOICE PIECE FOR SOPRANO This instruction piece was first published in Ono’s book Grapefruit, 1964. VOICE PIECE FOR SOPRANO explores the human voice as the ultimate tool of expression. Ono’s musical explorations were inspired by avant-garde composers such as Arnold Shöneberg and Alan Berg. However, unlike them, Ono used her voice as a strong instrument. She describes her intention about this work evocatively, as wanting to “throw blood”.

VOICE PIECE FOR SOPRANO from Grapefruit, 1964

Yoko Ono INDIA SMILES 2010/2012 The Smile Film concept came in 1967 when Ono declared that she wanted to “make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every human being in the world”. More than 40 years hence, this ongoing project is well on its way to becoming a reality. INDIA SMILES gives audiences in Delhi a chance to contribute to this long-sustaining endeavour. “Of course, I cannot go around the whole world and take the shots myself. I need cooperation from something like the post offices of the world. If everybody would drop a snapshot of themselves and their families to the post office of their town, or allow themselves to be photographed by the nearest photographic studio, this would be soon accomplished.” - “ON FILM NO. 4 (in taking the bottoms of 365 saints of time)” excerpted from Grapefruit, 1964

“Last year, I said I’d like to make a ‘smile film’ which included a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world. But that had obvious technical difficulties and was very likely that the plan would have remained as one of my beautiful never-nevers.” - “ON FILM NO. 5 & TWO VIRGINS” excerpted from Grapefruit, 1964



THE SEEDS Parallel exhibition

THE SEEDS is a parallel exhibition to OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS, and presents an overview of some of the works that have best signified Ono’s practice. It provides historical references and citations for her work as a performer and conceptual artist for the Indian audience. Presented here is video and photographic documentation of Ono’s performances, public banners, instructions, films and videos that have been exhibited across the world since the 1960s. THE SEEDS does not present events in a particular chronological fashion, thereby breaking from the biographic-linear mode of tracing the evolution of works and ideas over the lifetime of the artist. Rather the exhibition focuses on the works themselves as individual conceptual frameworks, carefully crafted by the artist, in a constant state of transformation through their dialogue with various audiences over the years.

Yoko Ono performing Cut Piece Carnegie Recital Hall, New York Photo by Minoru Niizuma March 21, 1965 © Yoko Ono


Films on the artist

Yoko Ono, Passages for Light 16 mm colour film with sound, transferred to DVD 18 mins 53 secs 2008 An introductory film on the artist that explores Ono’s practice and primarily documents two of her ongoing projects _ ONOCHORD and IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.

Jenny Golden and Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono Digital videotape with sound, transferred to DVD 14 mins 40 secs 2010

Yoko Ono, 25 Instructions for Oslo, read by Yoko Ono Digital videotape, transferred to DVD 8 mins 15 secs 2005 A video of Yoko Ono reading aloud from Grapefruit, her book of instructions first published in 1964, which has been known as one of the earliest and most fundamental works of conceptual art. The instruction pieces in the book are categorized under Music, Painting, Event, Poetry and Object. The book dematerialises the art object into a number of instructions that may be enacted by the reader. Yoko Ono Grapefruit, 1970 Simon & Schuster, New York © Yoko Ono

This short film provides an overview of Ono’s life as an artist, musician and activist and her role as a ground-breaking visionary over the last several decades.



Documentation of works from the 1960s

Yoko Ono performing Audience Piece Sogetsu Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan Photo by Yoshioka Yasuhiro 1964 Courtesy of Sogetsu Art Center Yoko Ono and Tony Cox performing Bag Piece Sogetsu Art Center, Tokyo, Japan, 1964 Photo by Yoshioka Yasuhiro 1964 Courtesy of Sogetsu Art Center and Yoko Ono Yoko Ono performing Cut Piece Carnegie Recital Hall, New York Photo by Minoru Niizuma 21 March 1965 © Yoko Ono Yoko Ono performing Lighting Piece Sogetsu Art Center, Tokyo, Japan Photo by Yoshioka Yasuhiro 1962 Courtesy of Sogetsu Art Center and Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono, Toshiro Mayuzumi and Toshi Ichiyanagi (in glasses) at Ono’s Chambers Street loft, in front of Yoko Ono’s Shadow Painting, Winter 1960-61 Photo by Minoru Niizuma Courtesy of Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono performing John Cage’s Music Walk with John Cage, David Tudor, Mayuzumi Toshiro Sogetsu Art Center, Tokyo Photo by Yoshioka Yasuhiro 1962 Courtesy of Sogetsu Art Center and Yoko Ono Yoko Ono preparing Mend Piece Unfinished Paintings and Objects Indica Gallery, London Photo by Graham Keen © Graham Keen 1966 Courtesy of Yoko Ono Yoko Ono, A Painting (Work) To Be Stepped On Paintings and Drawings by Yoko Ono AG Gallery, New York, July 16 - 30, 1961 Photograph by George Maciunas 1961 Courtesy of Yoko Ono



Yoko Ono and John Lennon, WAR IS OVER! (if you want it) Multimedia advertising campaign Digital print on poster paper 1969 (ongoing) WAR IS OVER! (if you want it) is an advertising piece made in collaboration with John Lennon that started in 1969 during the Bed-In for Peace event in response to the Vietnam War. This global advertising campaign, which lasted for more than two years, included billboards, postcards, magazine advertising, songs and skywriting in different cities. This project continues to date.

Yoko Ono, Sky TV Closed circuit video installation 1966 Sky TV is a closed circuit video installation where a portable camera provides a live feed of the sky above. This installation, first shown in 1966, was a pioneering work that used the newly launched Portapak technology, also utilised by the Korean artist Nam June Paik. Transmitting the image of the sky in real time, this work is a contemplation of an infinite world and also the sky that shelters us.

Yoko Ono, Toilet Thoughts Interactive Poster Installation 1968/2012 Š Yoko Ono

Film No. 3


Prepare 365 copies of a poster and paste them in bar toilets around the city. Leave them for a week and take picture of all 365 copies. Leave them again for a month and take pictures of them. Go on until you are satisfied, or until the posters disappear. Make a film by stringing all the pictures. From Thirteen Film Scores by Yoko Ono, 1968



Yoko Ono performing Cut Piece, 21 March 1965 New Works of Yoko Ono, Carnegie Recital Hall, New York Video documentation on DVD, projection, sound Directed by Albert and David Maysles 9 mins Cut Piece

Yoko Ono, 13 Day Do It Yourself Dance Festival (1966) and Grapefruit (1964) Selection of scores on vinyl transfers Yoko Ono’s 13 Day Do It Yourself Dance Festival was a series of instructions originally advertised in the Village Voice in 1965. These dance pieces were subsequently published in the Fluxus Newspaper No.7 with designs by Georges Maciunas. Later she reprinted them with her personal drawings and added them to the 1970´s Grapefruit edition.

It is usually performed by Yoko Ono coming on the stage and in a sitting position, placing a pair of scissors in front of her and asking the audience to come up on the stage, one by one, and cut a portion of her clothing (anywhere they like) and take it. The performer, however, does not have to be a woman.

First realized in 1964, Cut Piece was performed in Kyoto, Tokyo, New York, London and most recently Paris. The context of each performance created a very different result and the line between the concept of the work and its realisation is always in tension. Do we need to go through till the end when the artist will be completely naked or does the pure idea of the performance fulfil the intention?

13 Day Do It Yourself Dance Festival from Grapefruit, 1964

Yoko Ono performing Cut Piece, 15 September 2003 Théâtre du Ranelagh, Paris Video documentation on DVD, projection, sound Directed by Leslie Jenkins 16 mins

Cut Piece is my hope for World Peace Because today is a very special day for me. Like every day. And I’m determined to cherish every moment.

When I first performed this work, in 1964, I did it with some anger and turbulence in my heart. This time I do it with love for you, for me, and for the world.

Come and cut a piece of my clothing wherever you like the size of less than a postcard, and send it to the one you love.

My body is the scar of my mind

I’ll see you.

Y.O. summer 2003



Yoko Ono, No. 4 (Bottoms) 16mm film, black and white, sound on DVD transfer 80 mins 1966 This 80 minute film consists exclusively of tight frames of human buttocks, one after another, inviting comparison and study. The repetitive and rhythmic motion of the bottoms is juxtaposed with the soundtrack of the subjects speaking on the experience of being filmed for this project.

Yoko Ono, Freedom Soundtrack by John Lennon 16mm film, colour, sound on DVD transfer 1 min 1970 In Freedom the artist stands in front of the camera, stripped to her bra, and pulls at the stubborn fabric to break it open. Her gesture signals to the Feminist movement of the sixties and the battles women waged to rise from the stereotypical and restrictive roles they occupied in society. The tearing of the bra is not shown at the end of the film, thus symbolizing the ongoing struggle for emancipation.

Yoko Ono, film still from Freedom 1970 Š Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono, filmstrip from Film No. 4 (Bottoms) 1966-67 Š Yoko Ono



Yoko Ono, FLY 16mm film, colour, sound on DVD transfer 25 mins 1970

Yoko Ono, Match (Film No. 1, Fluxfilm No. 14) 16mm film, colour, silent, transferred to DVD 4 mins 30 secs 1966

This film, shot the same year as Freedom, focuses on similar issues. Here the viewer examines a woman’s body through the exploratory flight of a fly. The extreme close-ups reveal the fly’s movement across the female body as the model remains immobile, a sign of passivity and abnegation. A vocal piece by Yoko Ono forms the soundtrack.

Entry by George Maciunas: “High speed camera, 2000fr/sec. match striking fire.”

Yoko Ono, Eyeblink (Fluxfilm No. 9) 16mm film, black and white, silent, transferred to DVD 1 min 1966 Entry by George Maciunas: “High speed camera, 200fr/sec. view of one eyeblink.” Yoko Ono, film still from FLY 1970 © Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono, Painting to Let the Evening Light Go Through 1961/1966 This instruction work was published in the Paintings section of the original 1964 Grapefruit. Later in 1966 it was realised as an object at Ono’s Indica Gallery exhibition in the form of a clear Plexiglas panel with the engraved text Painting to Let the Evening Light Go Through. In this exhibition, the work has been mounted on a glass window in the form of a clear vinyl transfer, allowing the viewer to contemplate Delhi’s evening light.



John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Bed Peace 16mm film, colour, sound on DVD transfer 74 mins 1969

Yoko Ono, INDIA MAP PIECE Participatory installation Maps of India, stamps, ink 2012

Bed Peace was a countercultural event lasting one week, just after Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s wedding, to protest against the Vietnam War. This event garnered widespread international coverage using the tool of mass media to invoke a global response for this contentious political issue. Soon after, the WAR IS OVER! (if you want it) campaign was launched, followed by numerous pacific protests and artistic campaigns promoting peace.

INDIA MAP PIECE relates to Ono’s long-sustaining project IMAGINE PEACE. Visitors are invited to stamp “IMAGINE PEACE” on maps placed on the wall of the gallery.


For the exhibition in Delhi, various maps of India have been placed on the gallery walls, which visitors can stamp with “IMAGINE PEACE” translated into multiple Indian languages.



15 January 2012 Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Center, New Delhi

Yoko Ono photo by Kishin-Shinoyama



PUBLIC ART PROJECTS Various venues in Delhi host Public Art Projects by the internationally acclaimed artist and activist Yoko Ono. Held in conjunction with the exhibition OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS, these public interventions are about inviting audience participation and raising collective consciousness. The projects are installed at different educational and cultural institutions for varied durations and are accompanied by workshops and interactions.

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES During the two-month period of the exhibition, outreach programmes will be organised to bring the exhibition to diverse audiences. These events include gallery walks, a seminar, and workshops on dance and movement, storytelling, music and poetry, among other things. For more information on this schedule,


Yoko Ono Wish Tree Installation view, “THE ROAD OF HOPE” Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan, 2011 Photo by Connor Monahan © Yoko Ono


YOKO ONO WISH TREES 1996/2012 Ficus trees, pens, paper Yoko Ono’s work WISH TREES is inspired by her childhood experience of visiting a temple in Japan where she would write a wish on a piece of paper and attach it to a tree branch. The work, which she first did in 1996, has been included in many of her exhibitions around the world at museums and cultural centres. Yoko Ono has travelled the globe asking individuals to write their own hopes and prayers on paper tags. The wishes – currently totalling over one million – will be sent to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, a memorial Yoko Ono created for John Lennon in 2007, on the Isle of Videy in Iceland.

YOKO ONO Instructions by Yoko Ono Postcards In 1964 Ono published her legendary artwork, a book of instructions and drawings titled Grapefruit. This succinct publication sums up Ono’s artistic style and the truly conceptual nature of her work through which she invites participation. The artist has since, time and again, used the instruction as a vital art form revelling in its unassuming material presence and its imaginative possibilities.

YOKO ONO INDIA SMILES, 2010/2012 Public contributions to Yoko Ono’s Smiling Face Film YOKO ONO Public Instruction Project Vinyl Banner

INDIA SMILES will make its way into the streets of Delhi with the help of young volunteers to capture the smiles of India. More information on Yoko Ono’s Smiling Face Film at

Since the sixties, Yoko Ono has made artworks that have used advertising as a medium. In 1969 she and John Lennon launched the iconic anti-war campaign WAR IS OVER! (if you want it) across the world. Over the years, Yoko Ono has continued to effectively distribute messages like IMAGINE PEACE and DREAM through many methods and mediums as a mode of placing her instructions in the public domain. The banners and instructions are often translated into the languages of the countries they are displayed in, making their message accessible to the masses. For India in 2012, Yoko Ono has specially chosen four messages which are SMILE, TOUCH, DREAM and OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS.



Public ART Projects Various venues in Delhi

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1 Devi Art Foundation | 13 January - 10 March Sirpur House, Sector 44, Plot 39, Gurgaon 122003 2 Kiran Nadar Museum of Art | 13 January - 10 March 145 DLF South Court Mall, Saket, New Delhi 110017 3 Spell & Bound Bookshop and Cafe | 13 January - 10 March C-11 Shop No.2, SDA Market, Opposite IIT Main Gate, New Delhi 110016 4 The Japan Foundation | 13 January - 10 March 5-A Ring Road Lajpat Nagar-IV, New Delhi 110024 5 Vadehra Art Gallery, Defence Colony | 13 January - 10 March D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110024 6 Vadehra Art Gallery, Defence Colony | 13 January - 10 March D-40 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110024 7 Vadehra Art Gallery, Okhla | 13 January - 10 March D-178 Okhla Phase 1, New Delhi 110020 8 American Centre | 13 - 31 January 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001 9 American Embassy School | 13 - 31 January Chandragupta Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021 10 British Council | 13 - 31 January British High Commission, 17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001 11 Deepalaya School | 13 January - 15 February A-14 Kalkaji Extension, Govindpuri, New Delhi 110019 12 India Habitat Centre | 14 - 20 January Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003 13 India Art Fair | 25 - 29 January NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla Phase 3, New Delhi 110020 14 Katha-Khazana School | 1 - 12 February Bhumiheen Camp, Govindpuri, Kalkaji Extension, New Delhi 110019 15 Katha Storyshop | 1 - 12 February A-3 Sarvodaya Enclave, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi 110017 16 The Shri Ram School | 1 - 20 February D3 Street, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi 1100057 17 College of Art | 6 - 10 February 20-22 Tilak Marg, New Delhi 110001 18 Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan | 7 - 21 February 3 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001 19 Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals | 14 February - 10 March Sarita Vihar, Delhi-Mathura Road, New Delhi 110076 20 Love & Care Centre | 16 February - 10 March Basti Vikas Kendra, Near Okhla Tank, Okhla Phase 2, New Delhi 110020 21 Medanta - The Medicity | 21 February - 10 March Sector 38, Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon, Haryana 122001 22 School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU | 21 February - 10 March New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi 110067 23 The Shri Ram School, Aravali | 21 February - 10 March Hamilton Court Complex, Phase 4, DLF City, Gurgaon 122002 24 Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts | 1 - 10 March IGNCA Lawns, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, Janpath, New Delhi 110001




Yoko Ono is a multi-media artist whose thought provoking work challenges people’s understanding of art and the world around them. From the beginning of her career, she was a conceptualist whose work encompassed performance, instructions, film, music and writing.

Since its inception in 1987, Vadehra Art Gallery (VAG) has promoted contemporary Indian and international art through exhibitions, retrospectives, publications and educational programmes. Over the last 25 years, the gallery has become the locus through which the works of both modern and contemporary artists have reached the public. VAG’s position as an artistic interlocutor with the public is especially vital in the Indian context because of the lack of a vibrant art museum culture. With three gallery spaces and an art bookstore/reading room in Delhi, as well as a partner gallery in London, VAG has promoted a range of artists, from the most senior to young emerging talent.

Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933, and moved to New York in 1953, following her studies in philosophy in Japan. By the late 50s, she had become part of the city’s vibrant avant-garde activities. In 1960, she opened her Chambers Street loft to a series of radical performance work, and exhibited realizations of some of her early conceptual works there. In 1961, she had a oneperson show at the legendary AG Gallery in New York of her Instruction Paintings, and later that year performed a solo concert at Carnegie Recital Hall of revolutionary works involving movement, sound, and voice. In 1962, she returned to Tokyo, where she extended her New York performance at the Sogetsu Art Center, and showed her Instructions for Paintings there. In 1964 Yoko Ono performed Cut Piece in Kyoto and Tokyo, and published Grapefruit. The end of that year, she returned to New York, and in 1965 and 1966, performed another concert at Carnegie Recital Hall, participated in the Perpetual Fluxus Festival, and exhibited The Stone at the Judson Gallery, made the first version of Film No. 4 (Bottoms), as well as doing numerous other events throughout that year and a half. In summer of 1966, she was invited to take part in the Destruction in Art Symposium in London, and held one-person exhibitions at the Indica Gallery, and the next year at the Lisson Gallery. During this period, she also performed a number of concerts throughout England. In 1969, together with John Lennon, she realized Bed-In, and the worldwide War Is Over! (if you want it) campaign for peace. Ono has made a number of films, including Fly and Rape, and many records, including Fly, Approximately Infinite Universe, Rising, and most recently, Between My Head and the Sky coproduced with son Sean Lennon, on his Chimera Music label. She has had numerous exhibitions in museums, including traveling exhibitions organized by the Museum of Modern Art Oxford and the Japan Society in New York. In 2007, she created IMAGINE PEACE TOWER on Viðey Island in Iceland. In 2008 she presented touch me a solo exhibition of interactive works at Galerie Lelong in New York and in 2009, she exhibited ANTON’S MEMORY at the Bevilacqua Foundation in Venice, and received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale. Among numerous recent exhibitions, in 2010 she exhibited I’LL BE BACK at the Studio Stefania Miscetti in Rome, and DAS GIFT at the Haunch of Venison in Berlin.

Vadehra Art Gallery was the first to enter into collaboration with the government, via the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), to hold retrospectives of living Indian artists such as MF Husain, Raghu Rai, Devyani Krishna, Ram Kumar, A Ramachandran, Tyeb Mehta and SH Raza and co-published books and catalogues. It has equally collaborated with international museums like Kunstmuseum Bern; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Serpentine Gallery, London; Chicago Cultural Centre; Singapore Art Museum; Institut Valencia d’Art Modern and Centre Pompidou, Paris, lending works and support towards several exhibitions of contemporary Indian art held abroad. The Gallery began publishing books on art in 1996 given the lack of adequate documentation, critical writing and scholarly debate around contemporary Indian art. Fourteen books have been published so far (in addition to a multitude of exhibition catalogues) that range from monographs on artists and books on art-making techniques, to picture books and an overview on the comprehensive art scene. In 2010 Vadehra Art Gallery entered into collaboration with the international publishing house Prestel to produce monographs on Indian artists. Two publications Shilpa Gupta and QUEER: Sunil Gupta have been released in 2010 and 2011 and another one on artist Atul Dodiya is slated for 2012.

In July 2011, Ono was honored with the prestigious 8th Hiroshima Art Prize for her dedicated peace activism, and opened the one-person exhibition THE ROAD OF HOPE at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. In November 2011, she presented her second solo exhibition titled UNCURSED at Galerie Lelong in New York. Most recently, in December 2011, she held an exhibition LIGHT at Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo. For further details, see




The Public Art Projects and outreach activities are co-organised by Vadehra Art Gallery and The Japan Foundation Additional support for the Public Art Projects and support for the performance has been provided by Outset India The American Center has provided exhibition support for OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS at the Okhla Gallery Hospitality partner: The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi Logistics partner: United Artlogistics Pvt. Ltd. (UAPL) Technical support: Casio India

The Gallery would like to thank: Shri Jawhar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India Shri Vijay Madan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India Gunnar B. Kvaran Kapil and Sandy Khurana, Vijay Verma, Solar Print Process Pvt. Ltd. Radhika Chopra Anandan Rajiv and Pia Desai Tomoko Kuroiwa Public Art Project venues: American Centre; American Embassy School; British Council; College of Art, Delhi; Deepalaya School; Devi Art Foundation; Goethe-Institute, Max Mueller Bhavan; Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA); India Art Fair; India Habitat Centre; Indraprastha Apollo Hospital; Katha Storyshop; Katha-Khazana School; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art; Love & Care Centre, Basti Vikas Kendra, Okhla; Medanta - The Medicity; School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU; Spell & Bound Bookshop and Cafe; The Japan Foundation; The Shri Ram School; The Shri Ram School, Aravali

Exhibition support

Public Art Project & Performance support


Yoko ono catalogue  
Yoko ono catalogue  

Exhibition catalogue of Yoko Ono's 'Our Beautiful Daughters' held at Vadehra Art Gallery