Incredible Salt Installations by Motoi Yamamoto

Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto creates large-scale installations with the most unlikely medium – salt. When he was in his early 20s, he quit his full-time job to become an artist and a few years later his younger sister lost her battle with brain cancer. Salt is something often associated with rituals at Japanese funerals and this was his way of connecting to memories of her.

He began by doing a sculpture of a brain to map her disease. He wondered what it would look like spread out on the floor and that led to his creations becoming two-dimensional. The work often depicts labyrinths which to him is all about memories of her and tracing each memory from start to finish.

His later work is more web-like, almost like lace drawings. They reflect smaller, more mundane memories of her that are then spun into a larger web. Each piece is just as much about the creation as it is about the end of each show. After each piece is finished, people collect the salt and return it to the sea, which feeds and supports certain marine life.

Watch this video of his process:

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.