Motoi Yamamoto meticulously sculpts large scale installations formed from salt, tiny lines delicately arranged on the floor of galleries and museums. In his latest exhibition titled “Univer’sel,” Yamamoto has created two pieces in a 13th-century medieval castle in Aigues-Mortes, located in the south of France.

The first piece, ‘Floating Garden,” is installed in a circular room, appearing like swirling clouds or thick ocean foam. Without a walkway it is impossible to view the piece up close; viewersare able to view Yamamoto’s labor only from afar. The second piece, “Labyrinth” is arranged in a stone passageway within the castle’s ramparts. The appearance of the work mimics the title, a maze that becomes more detailed the further it grows from a mountain-like pile of salt towards the back of the installation.

At Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte, NC, Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto poured one of his immense, twisting clouds of salt. Titled “Floating Garden” the piece was created over several weeks from February through March before an crowd of attendees was permitted to destroy it. Watch the time-lapse above to see everything come together (and apart). Via the museum:

Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Motoi forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of24, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her. His art radiates an intense beauty and tranquility, but also conveys something ineffable, painful, and endless. (
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Kevin Townsend


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