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Monterey Museum of Art Hosts Return to the Sea, Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto

Monterey Museum of Art Hosts Return to the Sea, Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto

Salt is exclusive medium for an extraordinary, site-specific exhibition by internationally acclaimed Japanese artist

Monterey, CA- The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) will host internationally acclaimed artist Motoi Yamamoto and his exhibition, Return to the Sea, Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto, Organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts, June 14–August 25, 2013 at the MMA Pacific Street, 559 Pacific Street, Monterey, California, 93940. www.montereyart.org

The Monterey Museum of Art will showcase with presenting sponsor Union Bank, a site-specific, ephemeral exhibition created entirely of salt by Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto. While Yamamoto is world-renowned, he has not exhibited widely in the United States. The MMA is the exclusive West Coast museum venue.

Yamamoto is known for working with salt in the form of temporary, intricate, large-scale labyrinths. His art can be compared to the intricate sand mandalas created by Tibetan Buddhist monks. In both cases, the work is destroyed at the end of a predetermined interval and returned to a body of water thus enacting the ephemerality of life—hence Return to the Sea. The public will have an opportunity to watch the artist create the installation prior to the official opening on June 14, 2013. An equally rare opportunity to witness or participate in the dismantling of the artwork will be presented at the closing of the exhibition in August.

Yamamoto’s work emanates from a powerful personal experience rather than spiritual tradition. Salt is a symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture. The artist’s connection to the element began while mourning the death of his twenty-four year old sister from brain cancer. He views his installations as necessary to his healing. The results radiate an intense beauty and tranquility, but also convey something ineffable and endless.

He says, “Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by; however, what I seek is to capture a frozen moment that cannot be attained through pictures or writings. What I look for at the end of the act of drawing could be a feeling of touching a precious memory.”

Motoi Yamamoto was born in Onomichi, Hiroshima in 1966 and received his BA from Kanazawa College of Art in 1995. He has exhibited his award-winning creations around the globe in such cities as Athens, Cologne, Jerusalem, Mexico City, Seoul, and Tokyo. Last July, The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art organized the major exhibition that premiered in Charleston,  South Carolina at the 2012 Spoleto Festival USA before traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina, and now Monterey, California.

For more information visit www.montereyart.org or call 831.372.5477.

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Image Credits:

LEFT:  Motoi Yamamoto, Labyrinth, 2012, Bellevue Arts Museum Courtesy of the artist and Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts.

CENTER, RIGHT: Motoi Yamamoto, Forest of Beyond, salt, The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Kanagawa, Japan 2011. Photo: Makoto Morisawa. Courtesy of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts.

Editor Note:  Images may not be cropped or printed with type imposed over them without prior written approval from the organizer.