motoi yamamoto outlines complex labyrinths made of table salt
motoi yamamoto outlines complex labyrinths made of table salt motoi yamamoto outlines complex labyrinths made of table salt
mar 23, 2014

motoi yamamoto outlines complex labyrinths made of table salt

motoi yamamoto outlines complex labyrinths made of table salt
all images courtesy of motoi yamamoto





japanese artist motoi yamamoto has completed two monumental salt works in utah, encompassing the ground floors at westminster college and weber state univiversity. using his trademark medium,¬†yamamoto has created new iterations of his ‘floating garden’ lacework, this time bound within the confines of a circular form. filling the shape are minutely interconnected lines of matter, linked to each other within the complex labyrinth. the swirling, hurricane-like pattern is used as a symbol in east asia, representing life and death, resurrection and rebirth and the displays of vitality. ‘there is no set motif in the patterns I draw‘ yamamoto explains, ‘but shapes and forms that can be found in nature such as typhoons, whirling tides, and galaxies are part of my work.’ creating such intricate netting on such a mammoth scale requires patience and practice. holding a bottle of salt in hand, the artist must sit down in a small space where no particles will be laid, simultaneously moving the container with a certain rhythm. the subtle movement creates tiny cells that mimic bubble-like patterns, each of which symbolize pieces of memories and fragments of time.¬†

motoi yamamoto outlines complex labrynths made of table salt
the artist carefully crafts a salt work

monumental in scale, the ground-bound installation fills the room

motoi yamamoto salt works
the finished composition resembles a typhoon-like spiral

motoi yamamoto salt works
a second installation at westminster college is comprised of a maze of salt filling a circular form

motoi yamamoto salt works
detail of the salt work’s tiny interconnected lines

motoi yamamoto salt works

motoi yamamoto salt works
from above, it seems inconceivable that the arrangement was not disturbed while the artist worked

motoi yamamoto salt works
the circle of salt, from above

motoi yamamoto salt works
viewed from the second level, the installation encompasses the floor at the university

  • Thanks for this post. Just one clarification, however. Weber State University, the site of the Floating Garden piece, is in Ogden, UT. Westminster College is indeed in SLC, but we are about 25 miles north.

    Matthew Choberka says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,057 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample