Byron Au Yong: Pomelo by Sonolocations published on 2021-06-03T21:27:14Z instructions for sonic imagination and strength inspired by Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit Titles are instructions: 1. open a door to the horizon . . . 2. tiptoe with the birds . . . 3. find yourself humming . . . 4. honor peaceful time between the trees . . . 5. draw circles with your torso . . . 6. round the bend around . . . 7. open a door to the horizon . . . Artist Notes: Where are you now? I am probably sitting. If not, then perhaps I am picking pomelo. Did your face light up? Are you picking pomelo too? Pomelo are the largest citrus. Imagine a supersized grapefruit. Yoko Ono published a book called Grapefruit in 1964. Each page is an instruction I find useful when I’m lost. I look here to dream with a grounded absurdity: “Imagine the clouds dripping. Dig a hole in your garden to put them in.” Grapefruit offers ways to liberate stuck minds. Picking pomelo gets me out of a chair to reach into a tree. Pomelo are citrus maxima, yet look small amidst the branches. Similarly, the instructions are short and all-encompassing. Likewise, these audio miniatures are brief and expansive. I encourage you to get out of your chair. Go where clouds float above. And dance all around. Epilogue: Grapefruit inspired Yoko Ono’s husband, John Lennon, yet he omitted her conceptual and lyric contributions. In 2017, after nearly 50 years, Ono finally received credit on the song “Imagine.” Where do you find yourself during the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic inequities? Every morning, even the tiniest birds chirp. Their songs are bright and intricate. I imagine them telling the world to celebrate or mourn. These sounds are a reminder and a warning. This work was commissioned by the Henry Art Gallery and Jack Straw Cultural Center for their sound works series Sonolocations, curated by Shamim M. Momin, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Henry Art Gallery; and Levi Fuller, Administrative Coordinator, and Joan Rabinowitz, Executive Director, Jack Straw Cultural Center. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with Murmurations, a Seattle-wide arts collaboration featuring a series of exhibitions, performances, screenings, community conversations, artist talks, and other programs co-developed between cultural organizations.