Art & Design

Tomoko Hojo Solo Exhibition ‘Unfinished Descriptions’

27 - 30 September 2018, London

For her first solo exhibition at Hundred Years Gallery, Tomoko Hojo explores the relationship between voices missing from the archive through photographs, objects, scores and sounds. Based on Yoko Ono’s historical exhibition ‘Unfinished Paintings and Objects’ at Indica Gallery, London, 1966, this show ‘Unfinished Descriptions’ focuses on undocumented works and highlights silenced parts of that exhibition and Yoko Ono herself.


Hojo’s new works explore the relationship between the missing voices, especially woman’s voice in the archive and its alternative representations. Through questioning whose voices are missing and whose voices had more power in the history, Yoko Ono’s undocumented forgotten works will be recreated in playful ways. One of the significant works is ‘O14’ which is a serial number of one of the works might be exhibited at Indica show, but no documentations are left including a title. Over 50 collaborators have been invited to create a score for this mysterious work based on the word list from the original exhibition catalogue and other writings about Yoko Ono. Although all scores depart from this list, it proposes numerous possibilities beyond the past specific context and allows visitors to imagine the rich alternative possibilities. Those missing works will be also revitalised through performances during the show. 


In addition to the recreations of past works, discourses around Ono’s identities as a Woman, Japanese, and a wife of John Lennon will be examined through an audio work, texts and an audio-visual installation. Despite having her own career as an avant-garde artist, Ono was or still is ‘the most famous unknown artist’ as John Lennon once described her. Historically, she has mainly been discussed through her relationship to John Lennon and regarded as a gossip lady’ by the mass media.  ‘I am listening to you’, a new audio-visual installation is based on an oral history interview with Lennon and Ono conducted on 6 December 1980, two days before Lennon’s death. Whereas Lennon had been talking without interruption, Ono was often muted and mostly accompanied his speech by laughing with high soft small voice. In Japanese society, people insert ‘aizuchi’ - a sort of backchannel such as ’huh’ or ‘yeah’ - quite often during the conversation, to let the other speaker know that they are actively listening. Although Ono seems to inhabit this specific behaviour, there is equally an absence, a meandering in a different time and place. Listening becomes the act of imagining unspoken words, and gradually shifts into a fluidity between listening and speaking, and voiceless voices hidden under discourses would become audible.


Hojo’s exhibition at Hundred Years Gallery will be activated through performances on the evening of 29 September, with a special guest composer/performer Andy Ingamells. The program mainly focuses on Ono’s undocumented works in the original exhibition in 1966, such as Dawn Stone, Draw Line Painting, Shake Hands Piece as well as different versions of ‘O14’ which gathered from diverse collaborators.

27 - 30 September 2018

Hundred Years Gallery, 13 Pearson Street, London E2 8JD


CRiSAP, London College of Communication