Japanese multi-media artist, musician and activist Yoko Ono was 19 when she moved to New York with her family as they fled the World War II. A key member of the post-war conceptual art movement in New York, Ono was closely associated with the Dada-inspired avant-garde group Fluxus that was founded in the city in the 1960s. She rose to international fame for her collaborations in both music and anti-war activism with her late husband, the Beatles musician John Lennon. Ono is also noted for her work as an influential performance artist. One of her early works, Cut Piece, performed in 1964, is often cited as one of the first instances of feminist performance art in the world. In this, Ono asked members of the audience to cut and take away pieces of her clothes as she knelt motionless on a stage.
Noted conceptual artworks by Ono include a series of works titled Instruction Pieces made up of paintings, musical compositions and even theatre that is meant to be created in the minds of the viewer using only a set of instructions that the artist lays down. EARTH PIECE: Listen to the sound of the earth turning (1963/1999) is one of Ono’s instruction pieces and was first published in 1964 in Grapefruit —an artist’s book of instruction pieces— and later released as a limited edition of signed post cards. Ono’s exhibit at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale consists of reproductions of this legendary postcard that visitors are free to take away.