Visiting “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971” at MoMA is like having a casual conversation with the artist in her high sprite. Yoko Ono's paintings, sculptures, installations, musics, and films directly convey pleasures to the viewers. From embracing the obvious in Apple (1966), Glass Keys to Open the Skies (1967), and Box of Smile (1972) to inviting viewer participation in A Painting to Be Stepped On (1961), Grapefruit (1963-1964) and Bag Piece (1964), the artist strives to celebrate the simplicity of daily life.
The label for White Chess Set (1966) inscribes the humorous words from Yoko Ono,“chess set for playing as long as you can remember where all your pieces are.” Although the piece seems ordinary at first, with a second glance the viewers would realize all the chessmen on the board are wearing white, matching the game table and chairs in their purity. From a grandmaster's perspective, the design confuses the purpose of the challenge. However, the artist wishes to invent a new game where players work together in honesty in order to continue moving the chessmen. Like the playfulness of White Chess Set, the exhibition transforms the museum space into a playground with Yoko Ono whispering “play with me,” in her works.