The artist with a real thirst for his work If art is a matter of taste, then Motoi Yamamoto must be a truly seasoned professional, creating incredible sculptures and intricate mazes entirely out of salt. An exhibition of the Japanese artist's work is currently
showing at the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Kanagawa, Japan, where it is causing quite a stir.
The story behind Yamamoto's unusual technique is sad and tragic. He was a third-year student at the Kanazawa College of Art in 1996 when his younger sister died aged 24, two years after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
To both ease his grief and honour her memory, Yamamoto started working on a series of salt installations.
Salt has a special place in the death rituals of Japan, often being handed out to people at the end of a funeral so they can sprinkle it on themselves to ward off evil.
Yamamoto creates the amazing floor installations by filling a plastic bottle, usually used for machine oil, with white salt and then painstakingly sprinkling it on the floor.
He said: '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 the way in which I can touch a precious moment in my memories that cannot be attained through pictures or writings.
'I always silently follow the trace, that is controlled as well as uncontrolled from the start point after I have completed it.'
At the end of an exhibition Yamamoto always requests that the salt is returned to the ocean to make its journey come full circle.