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MOMA: Yoko Ono

Dea Yu
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Is it possible that someone could be a wife of one of the most famous Beatles, a multimedia artist, singer, and peace activist all at the same time?  On June 29th, 2015, Voice K had the amazing opportunity to go to MoMA (Museum of Modern Arts). All the exhibitions were very inspiring, but I was especially captured by Yoko Ono.

Yoko Ono was born on the 18th of February,1933 in Tokyo, to Isoko Ono (小野 磯子 Ono Isoko) and Eisuke Ono (小野 英輔 Ono Eisuke), a banker and one-time classical pianist. She is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, and peace activist. She is the wife of John Lennon, and is also known for avant-garde art music and filmmaking. Ono grew up in Tokyo, and studied at Gakushuin. She first met Lennon at her art exhibition.

Located on the sixth floor of MoMA, this new special exhibition was dedicated exclusively to Yoko Ono. Ono isn’t like any artist you heard of.Most artists like praises from the other people, and keep on working because of them. However, Ono is different.  “I was able to go on and on and on doing what I was doing because what I was doing was rejected. But I couldn’t get stuck in one place because people kept whipping me, so I always thought, ‘Go on, do another thing.” She once said in an interview.



Also, instead of doing traditional art like drawing or painting, she combines visual arts and sound arts together, which means she performs art forms in museums and theatres.  One of her most famous pieces is the Cut Piece that she performed in 1965 in Carnegie Hall. What happened was, she sat in the center of the stage wearing her best clothes, and placed a pair of scissors in front of her. Then she let everyone in the audience cut a piece of her clothes. If you ask me, if I were going to do the Cut Piece, I would’ve freaked out and gone crazy right there on the stage. Yoko Ono might have been calm but she has placed a very sharp pair of scissors right in front of her and told random strangers to come up and cut her clothes. Something could definitely go wrong. I think that, to be able to do that, took a lot of courage and trust. She said by doing that, she thinks, is sacrificing a piece of yourself to others.

In the exhibition, there were different pieces for me to discover. Like the Sky Machine. It looks almost like a postage-stamp machine, but when it’s levers are pressed, it spits out a small piece of paper with the word sky on it. Yoko Ono has always been fascinated with the sky, since it can be seen by everyone but can never be owned by anyone. “I would like to see a sky vending machine on every corner of the street instead of the coke machine. We need more skies than coke.”

Also in the gallery, was To See the Sky, which was a staircase that led to a huge, transparent, window that revealed the beautiful, blue sky. Bag Piece which was a big, black piece of cloth that you are supposed to put on yourself and become-as Ono said- just like a spirit or soul.

The experience was definitely amazing, and I learned so much about different artists. I wish I could go again!

Meet the writer

Dea Yu

Dea Yu

Hi everyone, my name is Dea, I am 10 years old. My name is not popular; I only knew one girl whose name sounds the same, but it is spelled differently. Guess how I got this name, my Mom told me she found it on a website called It is a Greek Goddess name who was in charge of beauty. My favourite classes at school are Drama and Music. I love playing acting games with my Drama teacher. I live in Mississauga, Ontario. I like reading and all kinds of arts. I am a Ballet dancer; I had my fourth recital this year. I really enjoy putting on a new costume each year and dancing on the stage. That is it, so far.

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