Motoi Yamamoto’s Newest Installation Made From Carefully Poured Salt

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Artist Motoi Yamamoto is known for his sprawling installations entirely composed of carefully poured salt.  His newest installation Charlotte, North Carolina’s Mint Museum is titled Floating Garden.  Existing for slightly under a month, the community was invited to ‘dismantle’ the installation.  A huge swirling pattern, one familiar from nature, covers the floor.  Upon closer inspection, the hurricane-like shape is a tight network of neat lines of salt.  Salt is replete with symbolism in Western culture but has special meaning in Japanese culture.  The museum explains:

“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 of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her.” [via]

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