Motoi Yamamoto’s Return to The Sea … with your help
Posted 7/2/2012 1:38:00 PM
One of the most talked about events at this year’s Spoleto Festival
was Motoi Yamamoto’s Return To The Sea: Saltworks
, on display at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art
. The reason behind the buzz? The centerpiece of the exhibition which is, in a word, breathtaking.
The artist spent a three-week residency at the College of Charleston’s Marion and Wayland H. Cato Center for the Arts creating an interlaced design made of salt from the ocean. Yamamoto built the site-specific installation in an effort to forge a connection to salt — a symbol of purity in Japanese culture — to preserve the memories of his late sister who lost her battle with brain cancer.
Yamamoto was born in Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan in 1966. In his youth he worked in a dockyard until 1988, when he began his studies at the Kanazawa College of Art in Ishikawa, Japan. Once he started his professional career it did not take long for recognition to find him on the international art scene. In 2002, he was presented with the Philip Morris Art Award, and the next year he was awarded a grant by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation to continue producing his artwork.
Yamamoto has become most famous for his works that stem from nature and Japanese culture. His salt installations fill large spaces and consist of the kind of intricate detail that comes from immense concentration and creations done with few, if any, tools. The salt exhibitions usually end with him returning the installation’s salt to the sea, which will take place in Charleston in collaboration with the public on July 7.
I’ve never participated in an art exhibition that had a public, hands-on aspect to it in this way. I will be heading down with a group from Columbia
for this experience (and to take lots of photos, of course!). For information on the exhibition and the public dismantling, click here