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  • Writer's pictureCristea Zhao

6. Floating Garden, 2016

Motoi Yamamoto

Installation view of Floating Garden

Univer’sel”, 2016

Yamamoto is famous for his usage of salt as the only artistic material in his works. This enduring project of temporary installation started after the death of artist’s sister due to brain cancer. The complex pattern was initially an imitation of the brain cells, which contain personal memories. At the end of the exhibition, the audience is invited to scoop the salt away and take them back to the ocean. 

The salt back to the ocean might be consumed by fish and then by us, going back to our bodies. It might also be extracted from the sea water and recycled back to the artist’s material for the next project. The work thus has some symbolic meaning of reincarnation added on to it, salt became the embodied grief. The act of drawing with it constitutes an act of healing the grief that might never come to the end. If for Bathers, the duration of mourning is 18 months, and 24 months for Au, Yamamoto’ mourning started from 2001 and will never end. 

The duration of producing the work as well as the duration of the whole ongoing project fasinated me.

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