Ono to Bring SKY LANDING to Phoenix Garden in Chicago
Standing just near the site of the lost Phoenix Pavilion in Jackson Park,
Yoko Ono said, “It’s something like (between) Chicago and Japan that they
sent me incredible, incredible intense openings of the heart from Chicagoans.
It has to be something that should be returned from Japan.”
• With her appearance, the Ground Healing
Ceremony to celebrate the site of SKY LANDING was held on June 12 at the
• In his opening remarks, Robert Karr,
President of Project 120 Chicago, said, “Japanese long believed that a
phoenix descends from heaven, and a new era of peace and prosperity will
begin.” He presented the more than 120-year-history of the Chicago-Japan
relationship that began with the Columbian Exposition in 1893.
• Karr also spoke about “kanreki”, a
60-year cycle of human life that enables one to reflect upon one’s past
and experience of rebirth and new understanding of one’s future. He said
that when kanreki was applied to the legacy of Phoenix Pavilion and surrounding
areas of the garden, during the first 60 years from 1893 to 1953, the
Pavilion promoted mutual understanding and contributed to the Expo’s success,
but the two countries also had a war in that period. The first 60 years
were the time of construction and destruction.
• Yoko Ono said, “I learned a lot from
this situation,” and continued, “The Japanese will have to know about
this. I don’t think that many Japanese know about what is happening in
Chicago and what was happening between Chicago and Japan. I’m quickly
learning. I think that we just have to give back. You’re supposed to get
• As the U.S. representative, Michael
Moskow, Vice Chair and Distinguished Fellow, Global Economy, the Chicago
Council on Global Affairs and chairman of the Japan America Society of
Chicago, celebrated the enduring legacy of the East and West’s collaboration.
• Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “There is no doubt that Yoko Ono’s presence will be most honored with the only place in America for her artwork. I want to thank you for choosing Chicago.” With the President Obama library, Phoenix Garden with Ono’s artwork will be one of two major attractions on Chicago’s Southside. He said that Ono’s presence with her art would shape the future by looking into the past for its moral principle guidance going forward.
• Consul General of Japan Toshiyuki Iwado
said that Mayor Emanuel’s participation sent a clear message that the
special site was very important for the people of Chicago, and for our
very close Japan-Chicago partnership.
• According to Robert Karr, Yoko Ono has a significant memory connected with Chicago. She and John Lennon visited Chicago in the 1970s, and Ono perceived that walking along Lake Michigan was as her own life. She wrote part of the song “Walking on the Thin Ice”, and it became the last piece that Ono and Lennon recorded together. He was killed on December 8, 1980, and the piece was released in 1981.
• Yoko Ono’s artwork “SKY LANDING”
will be installed by next summer.
Robert Karr, President of Project 120 Chicago, escorts Yoko Ono after she made a speech at the Grand Healing Ceremony.
Yoko Ono’s SKY LANDING will be installed between the pair of grassy mounds where the Phoenix Pavilion was built in 1893.
Robert Karr and his family stand beside an old toro lantern which
has been standing there since the Colombian Exposition in 1893.
Robert Karr, President of Project 120 Chicago
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Consul General Toshiyuki Iwado
Michael Moskow, Vice Chair of the
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Miyumi Project and Tsukasa Taiko