Japanese conceptual artist Motoi Yamamoto acquired worldwide fame as “The Salt Sculptor”. The mainspring of his work is derived from the death of his sister in 1994: it was for her that Yamamoto began creating full-scale designs in salt. Aiming to sooth himself. Yamamoto chose to use salt as focal ingredient for his work –including elaborate labyrinths, floating gardens and forests, among others– because memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by. Salt is a key element in Japan’s death culture: salt is used in funerals, hence why he chose to use it, until at one point he became aware that in his pieces, salt could help preserve the memory of lives. In some ways, salt somehow seems to be closely bound to human life beyond time and space. Upon examination of a finished piece of his, one feels the touch of a precious memory. Within us, though, remains a nostalgic awareness of the ephemeral nature of our existence as soon as one of Yamamoto’s pieces is finished, it will come apart and break. In the end, only memories remain. Vivid and precious.

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