Broken ceramic cup, glue in metal tube, digital print on paper, cotton twine, satin ribbon, plastic bag, box
Box: 17.8 × 17.8 × 5.2 cm
Edition of 100, accompanied by artist-stamped certificate
© (Yoko Ono). All rights reserved. (2021).
About the work
Mend Piece For John, 1968/2021, by Yoko Ono has been created on the occasion of the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition Yoko Ono: MEND PIECE for London, 25 August 2021 – 2 January 2022.
During her Whitechapel Gallery exhibition, visitors are invited to respond to an instruction from Yoko Ono; to enter the gallery, take a seat at a table on which are placed broken fragments of ceramic cups and saucers and some simple materials for repair – scissors, glue, twine and tape. Once finished ‘mending’, visitors are invited to display the results of their efforts along the shelves on the walls. This edition is conceived as an extension of Ono's Whitechapel Gallery exhibition.
Ono first presented this work as Mending Piece I at her 1966 solo exhibition at Indica Gallery, London, a renowned centre for countercultural art. Titled Yoko at Indica: Unfinished Paintings and Objects, almost every work in the exhibition was designed to be completed through the actions of visitors. Such instruction-based works established Ono as an important figure in the development of both Fluxus and Conceptual art. Her extensive career has since spanned performance, writing, visual art, experimental music and film. A commitment to participation and collaboration has also informed ongoing and tireless campaigns for peace and non-violence.
Mend Piece For John, (1968/2021), relates to an edition created by the artist in 1968. The edition includes the same instructions and poem as the original, but combines this with different materials, conceived especially for Ono's Whitechapel Gallery version.
Both Mend Piece For John, and MEND PIECE for London draw on the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, the art of repairing broken pottery using lacquer mixed with precious metals such as gold and silver. The process nurtures breakage as an important part of an object’s history, rather than seeking to disguise it. In this artwork, the physical act of repair becomes a timely metaphor for a different kind of mending which takes place in the mind and through community.
About the artist
Yoko Ono, B. Tokyo, Japan 1933, lives and works in New York. Since the early 1960s, Ono has worked across visual art, performance, filmmaking, and experimental music to explore the boundaries between art, politics, and society.
Ono’s early works were often instructional, questioning the division between art and everyday life. In 1964, she compiled more than 150 of her text based instructional works in her groundbreaking artist’s book, Grapefruit.
Ono is committed to social justice, and promotes world peace with her ongoing WAR IS OVER! Campaign. Having often collaborated with her late husband, John Lennon, Ono continues to perform with Plastic Ono Band.
Whitechapel Gallery editions are generously donated by the artists. All proceeds from the sale of these works directly support our exhibition and education programmes. As is traditional in editions publishing, prices will rise as an edition starts to sell out.
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