By Yoko Ono

The IMAGINE PEACE picture page click here


Wish Trees for the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson Memorial
Wish Trees for Anacostia, THEARC at 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE
Wish Tree for Washington, DC, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at 7th and Independence Avenue SW, in the sculpture garden

Whisper a wish to the bark of the trees
Japanese Lantern Lawn, west of the Kutz Bridge at Independence Avenue and 17th Street, SW

This line is a part of a very a very large circle available at:
THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW
Provisions Library, 1611 Connecticut Avenue NW, Floor 2

IMAGINE PEACE billboard at the Verizon Center at 7th and G Streets, NW

IMAGINE PEACE poster available at:
THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW
Provisions Library, 1611 Connecticut Avenue NW, Floor 2

IMAGINE PEACE ad in March 29, 2007 issue of the WASHINGTON POST Express

People who cannot visit the Wish Tree project in Washington, DC, can mail wishes to

P.O. Box 1009
121 Reykjavik
Iceland The National Cherry Blossom Festival THE ARC DC
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Street Scenes: Projects for DC
April 1 - 30, 2007
This project begins with spring--by looking at a naked tree and wondering what will grow. Will the leaves be healthy, will the blossoms bloom? So much promise, so much expectation, so much hope. One can only imagine.
When I moved to Washington seven years ago and experienced the first explosion of the cherry trees, I thought not of nature but of art. I recalled Hiroshige prints first encountered during my youth and Van Gogh reinterpretations of the same, which papered the walls of my room in postcard scale. But most strikingly, I thought of the works of Yoko Ono.
Since the early 1960s, Ms. Ono's work has examined the quixotic balance between art, nature, and the world. Instead of a reading primer, my eldest sister, an artist immersed in the New York Fluxus movement and experimental film world, gave me a copy of a book called grapefruit. The book was small, five and a half inches
square--the perfect size for an eight year old's fists and the perfect gift from an older sibling who loved to challenge and teach. From its bright yellow jacket shone a friendly face, a woman with long, full hair and deep probing eyes...someone, it seemed, whom you could easily sit across from and talk to. With its big type text, simple sentences, and scattered drawings, grapefruit became my favorite book and a constant companion. 

Billed as “a book of works and drawing,” grapefruit is a call to action...small actions, powerful actions. “A Piece for Orchestra” (1962 summer) instructs, “Count all of the stars of that night by heart. The piece ends when all of the orchestra members finish counting the stars or when it dawns. This can be done with windows instead of stars.” Another called “Water Piece” (1964 spring) says, “Steal a moon on the water with a bucket. Keep stealing until no moon is seen on the water.” Her “Pulse Piece” (1963 winter) offers an invitation: “Listen to each other’s pulse by putting your ear on the other’s stomach.” These gentle urgings and provocations get one thinking. They invite the reader to begin to imagine Flashing forward--and returning--to the base of the Jefferson Memorial, as I stared at the sea of blossoms and the waves of people moving beneath them, I was reminded of Ms. Ono's works from the 1990s called Wish Trees. With these powerful pieces, Ms. Ono asks the audience to become part of the art by writing wishes on paper tags and tying them to the branches of the living trees. “As a child in Japan,” Ms. Ono explains, “I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.” What can be a better mirror to the iconic Washington cherry blossoms--a gift from the Japanese empire to the United States in 1912--than paper counterpoints that encourage the blooming of wishes for one’s self and the world?

Ms. Ono will install Wish Trees at the Tidal Basin and THEARC, a community center in Anacostia (1901 Mississippi Avenue SE). A tree will be permanently installed at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (7th Street and Independence Avenue SW), a gift of the artist. The trees from the Tidal Basin and THEARC will eventually be planted in Anacostia at the site of THEARC.

At the location of the original cherry blossom trees (Japanese Lantern Lawn, west of the Kutz Bridge at Independence Avenue and 17th Street SW, across the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Memorial), Ms. Ono will place a plaque encouraging passer-bys to “whisper a wish into the bark of a tree.”

The Wish Trees are part of Ms. Ono’s citywide IMAGINE PEACE project. Its other components include a large billboard declaring IMAGINE PEACE (at the intersection of 7th and G Streets NW) and identical posters that will be available free to the public at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, THEARC, and Provisions Library (1611 Connecticut Avenue NW).

The March 29, 2007, issue of the Washington Post Express, a daily newspaper with a circulation of almost 200,000, will contain a smaller version of the poster. The hope is that these posters will spring up by the hundreds all over the city and spread positive wishes for peace, both internal and global.

As part of the project, Ms. Ono also will disseminate pieces of ribbons that say, “This line is a part of a very large circle….” These ribbons will be available for free at the locations distributing the posters. This work quietly reminds us that we all co-exist with art and nature on the same small sphere--a circle for which we should IMAGINE PEACE.
-- Nora Halpern

Street Scenes: Projects for DC was created in the spring of 2006 by curators Nora Halpern and Welmoed Laanstra. IMAGINE PEACE is the third installation of Street Scenes: Projects for DC. The overarching concept of Yoko Ono’s project parallels the working philosophy of Street Scenes: art and the ideas it generates can unify a city and all of its neighborhoods by creating an experience shared by those who are art aficionados as well as those who are not.

IMAGINE PEACE is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Maria and Bill Bell, Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust, National Cherry Blossom Festival, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Peter Norton Family Foundation, Downtown BID, Bussolati and Associates, Americans for the Arts, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Barbara and Aaron Levine, and several generous anonymous individuals.


Checks can be sent to:
Provisions Library
1875 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 1100
Washington DC 20009
Please note that your donation is
for Street Scenes DC


Press release IMAGINE PEACE

StreetScenesDC - Videopage

• _(April 22)
• International Herald Tribune
• San Francisco Chronicle
• _(April 15)
• _(April 3)

Street Scenes: Projects for DC

• (Back to intro)


• January 6 through February 2, 2009- IMAGINE PEACE
Yoko Ono 2009

• May 17, 2008 - Matt Mullican
Transformer's Here & Now Exhibition, 1840 14th Street NW

• September 13-16, 2007- For The Capitol
Installations by Jenny Holzer. Kennedy Center roofterrace.

• May 20, 2007 - 'Pas de Dirt'
Liz Lerman Dance Exchange ' Pas de Dirt"  on Sunday, May 20, at the National Building Museum. Performances will take place at 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm

• April 1-30, 2007- IMAGINE PEACE
By Yoko Ono

• October, 18-22, 2006 - 'Art & Elements'
Installations by Cal Lane and Linn Meyers

• September, 15-17, 2006 - 'Art not Ads'
Video: Colby Caldwell, Kathryn Cornelius, Brandon Morse, Jose Ruiz
Poetry: Joy Harjo, Sherman Alexie, E. Ethelbert Miller, Lucille Clifton, Reetika Vazirani, June Jordan
Painting: Ian Whitmore, Maggie Michael,
Kim Schoenstadt

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The National Cherry Blossom Festival

Many thanks to Mary Ann Akers, James Alefantis, Andy Anello, Saied Azali, Sibyl Bender, Kerry Brougher, Julie Burton, Monica Bussolati, Claire Carlin, Leigh Conner, David Corn, Jose Dominguez, Media Farzin-Rad, Edmund Fleet, Giorgio Furioso, Jon Furmanski, Annie Gawlak, Alanna Gedgausdas, Amy Halpern, George Hemphill, Jon Hendricks, Lillian Iversen, Amanda Keely, Lisa Kolker, Robert L. Lynch, Conrad Martin, Diana Mayhew, Mathieu Mazza, Tracy Mazza, Suzanne McClees, Jayme McClellan, Dorothy McSweeny, E. Ethelbert Miller, Jamie Mitchell, Ashley Neeley, Andrea Pollan, Victoria Reis, Don Russell, Derya Samadi, Virginia Shore, Stephanie Slewka, Joy Zinnoman, Emily Brougher, Julia Brougher, Maaike Laanstra-Corn, Amarins Laanstra-Corn and all the artists.

• Art not Ads
• Art and Elements:

• Art not Ads - pictures
• Art and Elements - pictures