Yoko Ono’s Wish Trees
“As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin
paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always
filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.”
Yoko Ono: “All My Works Are A Form Of Wishing”.
Yoko Ono’s interactive artwork WISH TREE (1996) has been integral to many of her exhibitions around the world in museums and
cultural centers where people have been invited to write their personal wishes for peace and tie them to a tree branch.
Yoko has collected all the wishes – currently totalling over a million!
They are to be housed at the site of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.
Make an IMAGINE PEACE Wish Tree
For your school, workplace, community.*
You will need: Tree, pencils, Wish Tags.
Wish Trees are traditionally native, local and indigenous.
Olive, Apple, Pomegranate, Ficus, Birch, and Juniper trees are all popular choices.
For Wish Tags you could use paper and string, or pre-strung white shipping tags.
When the tree is full of wishes:
email us a photo and tell us your story
mail all the wishes to IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, PO Box 1009, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland.
*This invitation is for non-commercial, non-fund-raising purposes only.
Q: And when did the “Wish Tree” happen for the first time?
YO: I don’t remember exactly when. It’s after 1981, after John, my husband’s passing.
Q: Every city could have a “Wish Tree!”
YO: When they did it in Finland they said one tree was not enough. Because the wish was becoming much larger than one tree.
They added so many trees it became like a mini-forest. You suddenly see very strong emotions of people coming out. It is fantastic.
I’m keeping all the wishes from all the countries, although I never read any of them. I feel it’s not right to read people’s private wishes.
Q: It’s a growing archive?
YO: It’s not an archive. I’ll tell you what’s going to happen: every piece of paper has a wish on it, I don’t read it, and all of them
will be put in one big tower of a sculpture, like a totem. It will be a very powerful sculpture… a tower which contains wishes of the
people of the world of our time. All in one tower!
Q: In terms of the energy!
YO:Yes. People’s wishes! So that’s why I’m keeping them.
Interview with Yoko Ono, 1996
I have saved all the wishes people made and hung on my work, called ‘Wish Tree’ in many different countries.
The number of those wishes I collected and kept has now reached over 495 thousand, and they will all be buried in capsules around
this light tower on the Isle of Videy.
I hope IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will give light to the strong wishes of World Peace from all corners of the planet and give
encouragement, inspiration and a sense of solidarity in a world now filled with fear and confusion. Let us come together to realize
a peaceful world.
I consider myself very fortunate to see the dream my husband and I dreamt together become reality.
Yoko Ono, 2007