| EN |

Yoko Ono: “A HOLE”
Written by Satoshi KOGANEZAWA   
Published: January 18 2010

View from "YOKO ONO: A HOLE" exhibition in December, copyright © 2009 Yoko ONO, courtesy of GALLERY 360°

     Glass plates are displayed not only on the wall but on the table at the center of the exhibition room. It is not difficult for us to imagine that the cracks found on all the plates were made using a gun because of the existence of a little “hole” in the center of each plate. Around the hole, there are a number of flaws forming distorted shapes all over the plates. To be precise, the hole is a bullet hole.

     The cracks spreading across each plate around the bullet hole are shaped something like the sun. Despite this, the power of gun making a bullet pass through the thick glass and, as a result, not only creating the hole but damaging its surroundings makes me consider it as a representation of violence beyond such a thoughtless imagination.

     Nonetheless, the creator, Yoko Ono, did not aim to show violent acts or tragedies caused by use of guns. What she tried to convey us through this exhibition is reflected on the phrase found in the bottom part of all the exhibits and on the creation displayed using the pedestal at the centre of the room.


     As can be seen in the above phrase, Ono proposed that we should consider the meaning of a bullet hole from a different angle. She suggested that the change in thinking would allow us to find some kind of possibility, such as dreams and hopes, other than violence on the other side of the glass plate damaged by a bullet. Thus, Ono expressed an extremely positive message through the exhibits.

     Then, however, it comes to be clear that there is a difference concerning living environment between Ono and myself. Japanese law does not allow the public to own guns except under special conditions. Gun ownership is not permitted in Japan even for self-defense except for people engaged in particular jobs, such as police and self-defense officials, or using a gun for hunting or clay shooting. This is the biggest difference between Ono living in the U. S. where restrictions on guns are relatively lax and myself living in Japan. In Japan, legally, it is unimaginable for people to make creations using a gun similar to those shown in this exhibition. In other words, the possibility of creating such works is also evidence of Ono’s own accessibility to guns while also highlighting the current situation of Japan in which people are not familiar with guns. This difference in environment between Ono and residents of Japan, including myself, would affect whether we can recognize the reality pursued by Ono.

     As we all are aware, Ono’s husband, John Lennon was shot dead by a self-professed fan on December 8, 1980. The period of this exhibition in which Ono’s new creations are shown includes the anniversary of his death. It would come to be possible for Ono to suggest others see dreams and hopes from another perspective through the bullet hole only when the hole represents the fear having led to her husband’s death.

     Finding hopes on the other side of violence - Ono herself must realize the difficulty of this perceptional change. “You must have hope without giving way to unreasonable violence.” The exhibits make me feel that they also include the urgent and convincing message of their creator. This would be due to the fact that they were made by Yoko Ono herself. I would like to accept exactly what she hoped to convey us through this exhibition.
(Translated by Nozomi Nakayama)


Yoko Ono: “A HOLE”
05/Dec/2009 - 25/Dec/2009
Venue: Gallery 360°

Last Updated on June 13 2010

| EN |