Yoko and her second husband Tony Cox performing Bag Piece at Tokyo’s Sogetsu Art Center in 1964. One of Yoko’s inspirations for bagism was the children’s book Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In the story, a wise fox tells the prince that in order to understand the world, we have to look beneath the surface. "One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."
Photo by Yasuhiro Yoshioka, courtesy of Yoko Ono.
"Bag Piece" premiered in summer of 1964 along with "Cut Piece". Critic Heather la Bash describes how Ono’s performances were labelled for different audiences:
Again, the performers were a mix of Japanese and American. Ono’s Cut Piece and Bag Piece are not marked in any specific ways as American or Japanese and were in fact performed in both countries. Again the overarching label, this time “American” in a Japanese context, appeared to be strategic rather than descriptive.”