Listasafn Islands

Imagine Peace Tower

“I hope the 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.”—YOKO ONO

The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is a work of art conceived by the legendary artist, musician and peace advocate Yoko Ono as a beacon to world peace. The work is in the form of a wishing well from which a strong and tall tower of light emerges. The words ‘Imagine Peace’ are inscribed on the well in 24 world languages.

The light tower is composed of a number of individual lights that join together to form a single beam. Six of the lights travel through corridors across a platform that surrounds the well and are reflected upwards to the sky with mirrors. The strength, intensity and brilliance of the light tower continually changes as the particles in the air fluctuate with the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions unique to Iceland.

The artwork has been dedicated on October 9, 2007 to the memory of John Lennon on what would have been his 67th birthday.

Every year the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will emerge between October 9th (Lennon's birthday) and December 8th (the day of his death). In addition the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will emanate on New Year's Eve, during the first week of spring and on some rare special occasions agreed on by the artist and the City of Reykjavík. The electricity for the light comes entirely from Reykjavik Energy, which produces the electricity from geothermal power.

—Hafþór Yngvason

“Imagine all the people living life in peace.”

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
 A dream you dream together is reality.” —YOKO ONO

This idea for the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER comes from a conceptual artwork by Yoko Ono, entitled ‘Light House’.

“The light house is a phantom house that is built by sheer light. You set up prisms at a certain time of day, under a certain evening light which goes through the prisms, the light house appears in the middle of the field like an image, except that, with this image, you can actually go inside if you want to. The light house may not emerge every day, just as the sun doesn’t shine every day.”—YOKO ONO 1965

Yoko Ono’s IMAGINE PEACE TOWER stands on a platform 17m in diameter, at the centre of which a light source emerges from a cylindrical ‘Wishing Well’ 4m in diameter and 2m high.

As directed by Yoko Ono, the platform is faced with three types of native Icelandic stone in reddish ochre, light grey and bluish grey, in a striped mosaic pattern created by an Icelandic designer. The surface of the platform is divided by six ‘light corridors’ which radiate inward towards the Wishing Well. At the outer ends of these corridors are six searchlights which project light horizontally through the corridors. Inside the well, the beams strike mirrors angled at 45º which act as prisms, reflecting the light upwards. People are free to walk over the corridors on the platform, and the mirrors are made of special materials which ensure 99.9% reflectivity. This design is Yoko’s symbolic expression of the instruction she originally wrote for her ‘Light House’ in 1965.

The surface of the Wishing Well itself is covered with special slabs of pure white glass developed in Japan using the latest materials technology. Carved into these slabs is Yoko’s instruction ‘Imagine Peace’ in 24 different languages. Visitors can feel the message of ‘Imagine Peace’ coming from all over the world as they walk around the well.

In addition to the six special mirrors which act as prisms, there are nine powerful Italian-built searchlights on the floor of the Well which send beams of pure light upwards, meaning that the tower of light is created from a combination of 15 beams. —Tetsuo Hamada

The construction and installation of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is a collaboration between Yoko Ono, the   City of Reykjavik,  Reykjavik Art Museum and Reykjavik Energy.

VIÐEY—The island of Viðey is historic, sacred and peaceful land. It abounds with birdlife, grasses and soft hollows, combined with tranquility and the spirit of bygone centuries. Some fine walking paths have been laid out on the island. The beach is a treasure for learning, experiencing and creating, and the difference between low and high tide is very marked. In the year 2006, a spot on the land was dedicated and consecrated for the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.

Viðey was first inhabited shortly after Iceland’s settlement, and was the site of a major monastery in medieval times. During the eighteenth century, it became the seat of the first Icelandic Governor of Iceland, Skúli Magnússon, who took up official residence in the Videyjarstofa house. A printing press was later set up there, and in the early twentieth century the island boasted the country’s most state-of-the-art dairy farm. The Icelandic State gave the island to the City of Reykjavík on the city’s 200th anniversary in 1986, in the wake of which Viðeyjarstofa house was renovated.

The Viðey Ferry provides scheduled ferry services between the island and Reykjavik’s city center or the Sundahöfn Harbour in Reykjavík. — Tel. +354 533 5055

Yoko Ono has collected wishes from people worldwide since the last century as part of her interactive artwork ‘Wish Tree’, which has been displayed around the world in museums and cultural centers. These wishes are housed in time capsules surrounding the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.
Yoko Ono invites you to add your wishes as well at
or by mail to
PO Box 1009
121 Reykjavik

Printed of the web Reykjvik Art Museum, 04.03.2015