Yoko Ono received a first class degree in philosophy from Tokyo’s Gakushuin University. At the age of 14, she went to study philosophy and music at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
Ono became a pioneer in the emerging medium of performance art, and she met John Lennon, at her own, one-woman, avant-garde art show in London in 1966. Together they created the Plastic Ono Band, an exciting experimental multi-media project. Their fame is for many associated with images of peace protests against the Vietnam War. A recent re-staging of Ono’s Cut Piece in Paris was part of a number of pro-peace demonstrations by the artist. After the event, Ono said, “When I first performed this work, in 1964, I did it with some anger and turbulence in my heart. This time, I do it with love for you, for me and for the world.”
Last year she rented a billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus, which read: “Imagine all the people living life in peace,” a line from Lennon’s famous song Imagine. She also took out full-page advertisements in papers around the world on the eve of the war in Iraq. The adverts said: “Imagine Peace…Spring 2003.”