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The Salt Labyrinths of Motoi Yamamoto

A former dockyard worker, Motoi Yamamoto is now one of Japan’s most talented artists, known all over the world for his intricate artworks, made of salt.

His working with this unusual medium was caused by the death of his younger sister, back in 1994. Mr. Yamamoto says that by working with free-form salt he is able to touch precious memories from the time his sister was alive, something he just can’t do by simply looking at pictures or reading a diary.

Some of his most amazing works are the intricate salt labyrinths. When he’s creating them, Motoi Yamamoto feels like he is following a trace of his memory that he can only reach when the work is completed. He stands in a cross-leg position for hours-on0end carefully laying the lines of salt, until he reaches the essential point in his memories.

Salt plays an important role in many cultures Like Hinduism or Japanese Shinto. Motoi Yamamoto uses salt as a life-giving substance, so after his art installations are no longer exhibited, he insists the salt be thrown back into the ocean so it can continue its path.

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