She may be in one of the most emerging art markets in the world and that too just ahead of the India Art fair, but Japanese multimedia artist and former wife of Beatles legend John Lennon, Yoko Ono did not know the country’s most famous artist when she landed in the city.Ono, whose exhibition, Our Beautiful Daughters, kicks off at the Vadehra Art Gallery today, pleaded ignorance when we asked her if she had seen master artist Maqbool Fida Husain’s works. "No, I haven’t seen his work," she said, seeming intrigued and asking for some catalogues of his masterpieces. It was only after the gallery’s representatives promised to take her around city galleries to show some of his works that she seemed happy.
Known for her avant-garde installations, music and films, the 78-year-old artist said, "It’s great to be in Delhi." She did visit India earlier with Lennon, but not the Capital.
“I don’t remember the year but I was in Bombay for a couple of nights, and after that we went to the Sai Baba camp. I was amazed to see how girls and boys were asked to sit separately. But, John and I made it a point to hold hands and sit together.”
Her impressions seemed to have been stuck in time, but she was surprised to see the change. “I see so many women all around. I had this impression that there would be men all around. This means that India has progressed a lot.”
Apart from soaking up Indian art, she also wants to visit the Rajghat while in Delhi. “There are amazing vibes in this city and one place that’s definitely on my mind is the Rajghat.”
She says she has also heard a lot about Bollywood, but hasn’t really got a chance to see many Indian movies. “I thoroughly enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire, though.”
Born: 1933, Tokyo, Japan
1964: First performance of her iconic work, Cut Piece, at the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo, and her book Grapefruit is published
1964 and 1972: Makes films like the famous No.4
1966: Meets John Lennon (He was married then)
1969: She and Lennon get married (he was her third husband)
1994: Produces her own musical, New York Rock
2009: Receives a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement from the Venice Biennale.
Click here to know more about Yoko’s visit to the city