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SKYLANDING by Yoko Ono coming to Jackson Park, Chicago in Fall 2016

SKYLANDING by Yoko Ono coming to Jackson Park, Chicago in Fall 2016
‘SKYLANDING’ First Permanent Public Art Installation by Yoko Ono in the Americas, Representing a Lifelong Mission for Peace.
One year ago today, on June 12, 2015 at Noon, Yoko Ono held a Ground Healing Ceremony on the site of SKYLANDING.

Set to be open to the public in the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park in the Fall 2016, SKYLANDING will be Yoko Ono’s first permanent public art work in the Americas. It is a marker of her place as an artist of profound international influence and of her lifelong mission for world peace.

As a leading artist and activist, Yoko Ono has spent decades bridging the relationships between the East and the West. Ms. Ono has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2009. Ms. Ono’s work includes successful projects such as “IMAGINE PEACE TOWER” in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The idea for a site-specific piece emerged from Yoko Ono’s initial visit to the site during the cherry blossom tree installation in 2013. “I recall being immediately connected to the powerful site and feeling the tension between the sky and the ground,” explains Yoko Ono. She already had a very special connection to the city of Chicago. When she first visited in the 1970’s, she stayed at a hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and later went back home to New York where she began to compose her hit song ‘Walking on Thin Ice.’

SKYLANDING brings her personal sense of hopefulness to the public realm and the intention is that visitors will feel a communal connection to Earth and Sky when experiencing the work. “I wanted the Sky to land here, to cool it, and make it well again,” remarked Ono when asked about the inspiration for her piece named, SKYLANDING.

During Ms. Ono’s frequent visits beginning in May 2013, she contemplated the past, present and future of the site, and conceived of SKYLANDING to lead us through the darkness of past into the future and into the light. SKYLANDING is the articulation of ideas conceived of by Yoko Ono based upon her experiences and lessons learned and shared throughout her life. For Yoko and for us, it is an awaking into a new world. A world of peace among all people and all nations.

The SKY has held a powerful significance for the artist since her youth when she and her younger siblings were sent to the countryside in the spring of 1945 to escape the bombings of Tokyo.  Ono and her brother, Keisuke, both frail from lack of food, would lie on their backs and imagine menus in the sky that might nourish them back to strength.  She wrote in her preface to Sky Piece I in her 2013 publication Acorn:
Towards the end of the Second World War, I looked like a little ghost because of the food shortage.  I was hungry. It was getting easier to just lie down and watch the sky. That’s when I fell in love with the sky, I think.
Since then, all my life, I have been in love with the sky. Even when everything was falling apart around me, the sky was always there for me.
It was the only constant factor in my life, which kept changing with the speed of light and lightening. As I told myself then, I could never give up on life as long as the sky was there.

Aesthetic Composition

SKYLANDING is a spatial experience that emerges from the past based upon universal order.  The lotus composition is strong, elegant, approachable - part of a natural order and beautiful. Extraneous detail is eliminated. It is honest and true to itself. Layers of visual dynamism show space expanding and an alignment of visualize form, space, and light.  

The composition radiates out from the center. There is a tension between imperfect form and diversity of form and the layout heightens the experience and balance of the piece.  The relationship between landforms is a line created between the flows of one hill into another. The lotus composition in the center provides a gradient and relationship among the parts to create a whole. The idea of opening the lotus and spreading apart unlocks an experience and a spatial seamlessness. 

The ground plan is based upon universal principles and has harmonious rhythms, masses and proportion. Completeness and incompleteness - In the in-between zones there is a sense of inhabiting two spaces at one and the same time. Life is a perpetual state of transition from one form to another.

There are 12 petals in various stages of emersion that radiate outward into the grass surrounding by other pedals throughout SKYLANDING. The hills (two mounds) direct and lift one into the SKY. The SKY envelopes and becomes a part of the composition.

While there is extraordinary meaning that one could layer on this transformed space, it emerges for one to experience and discover for oneself.  
To experience Yoko Ono's vision for peace, please visit

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