Nov 14, 2013 1:40PM

Look Inside Yoko Ono's MCA Exhibition

'War Is Over! (if you want it).' Opens tomorrow.

Yoko Ono was just 12 when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. She was living in rural Northern Japan, after fleeing from Tokyo, and remembers the sky being lit up red. That's probably why clear blue skies have been a recurring motif in her art work ever since. Similar symbols of peace are everywhere in the artist/musician's work, which will be showing at Sydney's MCA from tomorrow. The exhibition — her first solo show in Australia — is called War Is Over! (if you want it) and features everything from film, sound, installation, sculpture, painting, and interactive works where the audience responds to one of Yoko's text or language-based instructions. 

This is contemporary art rendered earnest, in the most playful, yet urgent way you can imagine. As the artist and self-described bad dancer says, "it is an incredible new show I've developed just for you," and it actually shows. There's noticeable personal touches all around the exhibition space and two of the works, 'Play It By Trust' and 'Wish Tree For Sydney' were inspired by the city. Aside from the message of the show, which Yoko summarises as "Think peace, act peace, spread peace, Sydney," the exhibition doubles as a super fun day out. How many chances do you get to stamp over maps of the world, write notes on a gallery wall, glue together objects, walk through a perspex maze and pick up a phone call by the woman herself? Not many (if any). Oh Yoko!
Yoko Ono's 'War Is Over! (if you want it)
15 November 2013 — 23 February 2014
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
140 George Street, Circular Quay