Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto’s incredible installations made out of salt are entrancing to look at with their repetitive and meticulous patterns. Yamaoto has expressed that, in viewing his zen-like designs, he hopes others may find some point in their meditation for a healing or resolution of thought. His pure white crystalline works have been installed all over the world, most recently at the French castle of Aigues-Mortes.
Yamamoto’s exhibit at Aigues-Mortes features two new designs, titled “Labyrinth” and “Floating Garden”, resembling a spiraling typhoon or broken, icy landscapes with intricate maze details. Each piece has roots in Japanese tradition, where salt is also used in Japanese ceremonial purposes as in a Buddhist funerals. In relation to Yamamoto’s work, the castle was also once an important place of salt production from several small salt marshes along the sea shore.
In our interview with the artist, he told us that his work is derived from the death of his sister from brain cancer in 1994. “Since then, I have had the dilemma, in grief and surprise, of thinking about what I had and lost. I started making art works that reflected such feelings and continue it as if I were writing a diary. Many of my works take the form of labyrinths with complicated patterns, ruined and abandoned staircases or too narrow life-size tunnels.”
“A common perception towards them is “nearly reachable, yet not quite” or “nearly conceivable, yet not quite,” Yamamoto adds. “Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by. However, what I sought for was the way in which I could touch a precious moment in my memories that cannot be attainable through pictures or writings.” Yamamoto’s work will be on view through November 30th.