|Motoi Yamamoto at Westminster College|
But I’m getting ahead of the story. A little context is in order. Motoi Yamamoto’s medium of choice is salt. From massive constructions to intricate, maze-like illustrations his designs are mesmerizing works of simple sodium chloride; in fact Morton was a sponsor providing the 400 pounds of table salt needed for the installation.
|Motoi Yamamoto during the installation of Return to the Sea.|
It's hard not to draw parallels to the art work of Yayoi Kusama, but that might be because I just finished reading Kusama’s autobiography, Infinity Net. Both artists use meticulous repetition to create works that have an inherent Japanese attitude; an attitude that’s thoughtful and imbued with a deep, quiet emotion. And both artists’ work comes from very painful, emotional experiences. For Yamamoto, that moment is the death of his sister at age 24 from brain cancer.
|Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto (2014, salt)|
In the end, all of Yamamoto’s works are swept up and returned to the “sea.” In this case, the “sea” will be the Great Salt Lake at the site of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. This seems like the perfect location considering Smithson’s embrace of entropy and a desire to allow his works to change with the environment around them. Yamamoto’s act of destroying each work is an even more dramatic embrace of the theoretical, ethereal side of art.
You can participate in the destruction of the work on Saturday, April 12. Something I would be doing if it weren’t for a conflicting commitment. Find more information here. Here are a few more photos from of Return to the Sea: Saltworks.
|Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto|
|Motoi Yamamoto at work|