Yoko Ono 30 years on from 'that photo'

Yoko Ono 30 years on from 'that photo'

A Harajuku exhibition by photographer Kishin Shinoyama recalls John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Double Fantasy" kiss pic
yoko ono kishin shinoyama john lennon
Yoko Ono and Kishin Shinoyama stand by their most famous photograph.

Yoko Ono caused a commotion at the Audi Forum (tel. +81 (0) 3 5464 7200) in Harajuku on Friday when she walked in wearing her trademark black shades to announce a new photo exhibition.

Running from December 4, 2010 until January 5, 2011, the Kishin Shinoyama Photo Exhibition brings together intimate original images from the 1980 photo shoot for the cover of album "Double Fantasy," featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono kissing in front of The Dakota building in New York.

"Double Fantasy" was released on November 17, 1980, just three weeks before John Lennon was assassinated in front of their home in The Dakota.

The image of the couples' passionate kiss was so iconic that a color shot from the same set was used for the cover of the posthumous album "Milk and Honey" in 1984 -- the music for which had been recorded in the same sessions as "Double Fantasy."

yoko ono kishin shinoyama john lennonYoko Ono is still as active and creative as ever.

Recreating 1980

New color shots of Yoko Ono alone in the same spot taken by Shinoyama -- the 1980 images were shot in black and white -- are also on display, 30 years since the first shoot.

In one image, Ono, 77, is caught giving autographs to two young children. In others she poses in front of The Dakota and in Central Park.

Ono spoke breifly at the event before touring the gallery herself.

"I am very grateful to [Shinoyama] for the fun we had on the shoot," she said. "I hope that the message of John Lennon's songs will continue to be passed down through generations."

Going strong at 77

Ono also presented one of her own works of art, titled "Wish Tree," in which she encourages people to write a wish on a card, fold it and tie it to a branch, until every branch is covered. The piece was first created in 1980.

On December 8, Ono will host her annual event "Dream Power John Lennon Super Live" at the Budokan (tel. +81 (0) 3 5452 0222) in Tokyo.

The event has added resonance this year. John Lennon would have turned 70 in October, and many of Japan's top artists, such as Bonnie Pink, Yuzu and Tamio Okuda will be taking part.

Funds from the annual event, which began in 2001, are donated to schools around the world.

This year money raised will be donated to schools in Haiti (where a major earthquake destroyed many schools), Guatemala, Mali, the Philippines, Senegal and Pakistan, for a total of twelve schools in six countries.


Robert Michael Poole is a specialist on the Japanese music and entertainment scene.

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