Yoko Ono to be awarded Hiroshima Art Prize

by Junpei Fujimura, Staff Writer

On October 22, the City of Hiroshima announced that it has selected Yoko Ono, 77, a resident of New York City, as the eighth winner of the Hiroshima Art Prize, which is given to artists who have contributed to the cause of peace in the field of contemporary art. The City will hold an exhibition of Ms. Ono's work at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art next summer to commemorate her receipt of the prize.

The City of Hiroshima established the Hiroshima Art Prize in 1989 and has awarded the prize every three years. Ms. Ono commented on the news: "The tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was created by humans ourselves. We also have the wisdom to eradicate the root cause of the tragedy. Let us save the world through the power of wisdom."

Ms. Ono is originally from Tokyo. With her late husband, John Lennon, she became a symbol of the international peace movement in the 1970s. Ms. Ono delivered speeches appealing for the elimination of nuclear weapons at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conferences in 2005 and 2010.

As a writer, she has introduced the "Instruction" series since 1961, for which she exhibits instructions by employing words. She pioneered a style of conceptual art that puts emphasis on ideas and presented her works in a special exhibition held at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art on the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing in 1995.

The Hiroshima Art Prize has been awarded to eight people so far, including Issey Miyake, a Hiroshima-born fashion designer.

(Originally published on October 23, 2010)