Past Exhibitions

Return to the Sea, Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto

Organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts

June 5–August 25, 2013
MMA Pacific Street

Motoi Yamamoto is an internationally acclaimed contemporary Japanese artist from Hiroshima, Japan, who creates elaborate, site-specific installations made entirely out of salt. Often in the form of large-scale labyrinths or aerial projections of typhoons, Yamamoto takes one of the earth’s oldest, most sought-after mineral elements to cover the entire gallery floors during a two-week residency at the Monterey Museum of Art—Pacific Street location. Traditionally used as a symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, the artist’s use of salt emanates from a powerful personal experience in working through the death of his sister. His artwork is rooted in themes of life, death, and rebirth, and his process with salt has helped him cleanse his grief.

The public will have an opportunity to watch Motoi create his installation during his residency, as well as interact with him in the galleries. A series of drawings and photography will also accompany the exhibition.

The closing of the exhibition on August 25, 2013, offers another important participatory experience with the opportunity for visitors to participate in the dismantling of the salt artwork.


Image: 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.