Yoko Ono’s interactive artwork “Wish Tree” (1996) has been integral to many of her exhibitions around the world in museums and cultural centers where people have been invited to write their personal wishes for peace and tie them to a tree branch.
In commemoration of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which occurred on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo, will feature Yoko Ono’s “Imagine Peace Wish Tree” from Saturday to Thursday, Aug. 4 to 9.
Participants can write down their personal wishes for peace on a piece of paper that they tie to the tree.
At the end of the commemoration, the wishes will be collected and mailed to the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, Ono’s ongoing art project, where wishes from around the world are collected and stored.
“As a child in Japan, 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,” said Ono. “Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.”
A tiny origami crane created by Sadako Sasaki prior to her death from leukemia in 1955 as a result of radiation from the Hiroshima bomb will be on display near the Wish Tree during this period. The crane was donated to JANM in 2016 by members of her family.
JANM is proud to be the only West Coast site, and one of the few international venues, to receive one of Sadako’s cranes, a small but powerful symbol of peace. The other sites are the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, 9/11 Tribute Museum, USS Arizona Memorial, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, and Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Admission on Aug. 4 will be “pay what you wish.” For more information, visit www.janm.org.