Wish Tree is an ongoing art installation series by Japanese artist Yoko Ono, started in 1996, in which a tree native to a site is planted under her direction. Viewers are usually invited to tie a written wish to the tree except during the winter months when a tree can be more vulnerable. Locations of the piece have included New York City, St. Louis, Wish Tree for Washington, DC, San Francisco, Pasadena, and Palo Alto, California, Tokyo, Venice, Paris, Dublin, London, Exeter, England, Finland and Buenos Aires, Argentina, Calgary.
Her 1996 Wish Piece had the following instructions:
Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree. Ask your friends to do the same. Keep wishing. Until the branches are covered with wishes.[incomplete short citation]
Installations have involved from one to 21 trees, and varieties include lemon trees, eucalyptus, and crepe myrtles. To honor wish writers' privacy, Ono claims she does not read the wishes, and collects them all to be buried at the base of the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay in Iceland. To date over 1 million wishes have been buried beneath the tower.
The series developed after an installation of one tree in Finland grew into a mini-forest, and Ono felt a continuing social need. She has also said:
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.
|Year||City or country||Institution or group, if known||Title, if known||Tree type, if known||Other|
|1996||Alicante, Valencia, Spain||pomegranate[incomplete short citation]|
|2003||Venice, Italy||Peggy Guggenheim Collection||Wish Tree Venice 2003. To Peggy with Love x Yoko||olive tree||Permanent installation|
|2007||Washington, DC||Hirshhorn Museum gardens||Wish Tree for Washington, DC||dogwood|
|2008||Pasadena, California||One Colorado shopping center||Wish Tree for Pasadena||21 crepe myrtle trees||Permanently installed at Arlington Garden, Pasadena|
|2009||Palo Alto, California||Stanford University campus||two lemon trees|
|2010||New York City||MoMA|
|Oberlin, Ohio||Oberlin College|
|2012||New York City||Occupy Wall Street (Zuccotti Park)||Wish Tree for Zuccotti Park||Project altered to distribution of 10,000 postcards after fall 2011 police raid of park|
|Dublin||Wish Tree for Ireland|
|London||Serpentine Galleries||Wish Tree for London|
|2012-13||Brooklyn, New York||Brooklyn Museum|
|2013||St. Louis||Saint Louis Art Museum|
|Sydney, Australia||Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney||Wish Tree for Sydney||six eucalyptus|
|2014||Orlando and Tampa, Florida||Hard Rock Cafe locations|
|2016||Manhattan Beach, California||Manhattan Beach Art Center||Wish Tree for Manhattan Beach||unknown||Temporary installation|
|Buenos Aires, Argentina||MALBA||Part of Yoko Ono retrospective|
|2018||New York City||Performa 17||unknown||Temporarily installed at festival headquarters|
|2019||Bad Homburg vor der Höhe||Blickachsen||Wish Trees for Bad Homburg||apple tree|
- "Yoko Ono's Wish Trees". Imagine Peace Tower website.
- Munroe et al. 2000, p. 294. sfn error: no target: CITEREFMunroeOnoHendricksAltshuler2000 (help)
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- Munroe et al. 2000, p. 266. sfn error: no target: CITEREFMunroeOnoHendricksAltshuler2000 (help)
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- Haven, Cynthia (December 19, 2008). "Yoko Ono to speak at Stanford, Stanford Report". Stanford University.
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- "Exhibitions: Wish Tree". Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved Nov 20, 2014.
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- "Museum of Contemporary Art Photo: Wish Tree – Yoko Ono". TripAdvisorUK. 2000. Retrieved Nov 20, 2014.
- "News: MCA Insight: War Is OVer! (if you want it): Yoko Ono". Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Retrieved Nov 20, 2014.
- "News: Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos Takes Part in 7th Annual Imagine There's No Hunger Campaign Invites Guests and Fans to Take Park in Wish Tree". Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. Nov 10, 2014.
- "Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casino Tampa to Participate in Seventh Annual Imagine There's No Hunger Campaign". Tampa Bay Newswire. Nov 13, 2014.
- "Performa 17". February 2018.
- "Wish Trees for Bad Homburg" (in English and German). Blickachsen 12.