Visiting the Garden of the Phoenix in Chicago’s Jackson Park, Yoko Ono immediately recognized the parallels between her life and the turbulence within the overarching Japanese-American narrative which began in that very location over a 100 years prior. As she reflected on her own life while seeing the sky meet Lake Michigan in distance, the vision for SKYLANDING was born. Only her 2nd permanent installation in the world (the first being the imagine peace tower in Iceland), this work of public art was intended to symbolize lasting peace between disparate cultures as the sky would come to heal the earth. In conjunction with our partner Project120, SKYLANDING was unveiled in the fall of 2015 and we were privileged with the opportunity to share it with the world.
Bringing a creative icon’s vision to life (digitally)
We strove to go beyond an informative site about the stunning lotus of eight 12-foot tall stainless steel petals, it had to be an extension of Yoko’s work. Collaborating with Robert Karr, the founder of Project120, and Yoko herself, we dug deep into the origins and intentions of the project, as well as drawing inspiration from Japanese culture, to allow our global audience a participatory experience.
As the first permanent installation of Yoko Ono’s work in the Americas, we knew that this would attract interest from all over the world — even if fans and enthusiasts couldn’t visit it in person. So there needed to be an interactive element on a global scale.
SKYLANDING was more than a sculpture — it was a call to action for people all over the world. The struggle between conflict and peace between Japan and America inspired Yoko Ono to call for a shared mission for peace and harmony with each other and nature. And we needed to get that out into the world.
Central to Yoko’s work was the act of wishing. With the wishing tree as the physical manifestation in the piece, there had to be a way to engage the world with the message that we had.
“It was an honor to work directly with a living legend like Yoko Ono. And figuring out how to translate her stories, her art and her message to the digital landscape gave us the opportunity to explore our own art and storytelling capabilities unlike any project we’ve worked on before. ”
Building on Yoko’s work
We created an experience that both echoes and enhances SKYLANDING. Immediately on load, visitors can share a wish, and then read wishes from all over the world. With tracked wishes, exciting motion, intuitive navigation and a thoughtful story that illustrates the global appeal of Yoko’s message.
Engaging the world
We developed a social strategy to spread the word and encourage users to make a wish. Working with Yoko Ono and Project 120’s community managers, we acquired more than 2,000 wishes across the globe.
A global experience
SKYLANDING was a global call to action. And to reflect that, we developed a map that tracked each and every wish to help connect people from all over the world.
To help capture the essence of Yoko’s work, we interviewed her and used her own words to tell the story digitally. We were beyond thrilled to capture one of the few interview with Yoko in the last decade, and use it to convey her message of peace and prosperity.
“Envisionit rose to the challenge. Not only capturing the essence of Yoko’s vision, but providing a means to connect this initiative with a larger global audience.”
A landmark for peace
The wishes collected on the SKYLANDING site are a refreshing reminder of what unites us. Our agency is truly grateful to be able to connect the world with Yoko Ono’s vision for peace, and we invite all to visit both Jackson Park and SKYLANDING.com to take up the call.