Nightly News   |  July 22, 2012

Yoko Ono: 'I envisioned the whole world smiling together'

The idea that a smile had the power to heal occurred to Yoko Ono in the days after her husband, Beatles singer John Lennon, was murdered. NBC's Lester Holt and Ono smile together in this report about Ono's new project about smiles. See www.smilesfilm.comfor more.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> after the awful news of the last few days we close with a story tonight that just might give you a reason to smile. the power of a smile is the basis of a new art project on exhibit here in london. it is the work of a woman you likely know well who after suddenly losing her husband found the answer to healing her pain was written across her face.

>> reporter: there is more than just the olympics and a break from the rain that has londoners smiling these days. the whole world is smiling this light hearted project on display at the serpentine gallery , the hope of artist yoko ono when she mused on the idea.

>> i envisioned the whole world smiling together.

>> reporter: the idea that a smile had the power to heal really took hold forono in the days and months after the murder of her husband back when it seemed there could never be anything to smile about.

>> every day in the morning when i see the mirror i try to smile. it is very hard. in the beginning it was so phony phony. but then i started to really smile.

>> reporter: she calls the project hash tag smiles film. there was no public internet or twitter back when she started thinking about it. technology has caught up askand ono is asking people to snap a picture and smile.

>> if we all start to smile in the world something will happen. i think that it will be better for the world maybe.

>> reporter: featured in the gallery exhibit a slow motion film of lenin breaking into a smile. over the years ono has dedicated herself to peace, a message she shared with her husband. the two famously staged a vetting for peace in 1969 . in 2011 she created the imagine peace tower in iceland. she said she likes to think john is smiling about smiles but it is not hard to.

>> you think john is smiling with us now?

>> he would love it. it is the kind of thing he liked.

>> reporter: ready?

>> okay. i like this.

>> reporter: maybe it is true. when you smile the whole world really does smile with you.

>>> we have put more information on the smiles film project on our website, nbcnightlynews.com. we