Artist Spotlight: Motoi Yamamoto
Artist Spotlight: Motoi YamamotoMay 25, 2012
If you’re headed to Charleston this summer, make plans to fit in a visit to the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art between beach trips. The gallery’s newest exhibition, Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto just opened (May 24 – July 7) and is well-worth a visit.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is a series of large-scale site-specific installations crafted by contemporary Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto from ordinary table salt. Motivated by the death of his sister from brain cancer, the internationally recognized artist began using the everyday element to create his intricate maze-like designs as a way to preserve his memories of her.
“Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by; however, what I seek is to capture a frozen moment that cannot be attained through pictures or writings. What I look for a at the end of the act of drawing could be a feeling of touching a precious memory.”—Motoi Yamamoto
At the exhibit’s end on July 7 at 4:00 pm, the public is enlisted to help dismantle the installation. That’s right, Yamamoto wants you to destroy his work—scooping up bags of salt and dumping them back into the ocean.
After the salt is returned to the sea, Yamamoto’s work exists only in photographs and memories.
To learn more about Yamamoto and his work, watch this video, which accompanies the exhibition. Yamamoto spent the past three weeks at the Halsey Institute planning and painstakingly building the exhibit. Check out his progress below: