Beautiful Salt: Univers’sel

motoi yamamoto's Floating Garden.

Motoi Yamamoto’s Floating Garden. Photos courtesy of the artist.

Inside the medieval castle tower at aigues-mortes, a 13th century walled city in southern france, japanese artist motoi yamamoto has completed two monumental installations made of salt. ‘Floating garden’ and ‘labyrinth’ form part of the exhibition univers’ sel‘ on from now until november 30, 2016, which celebrates creative interpretations of the natural element.

‘Floating garden’ comprises a circular form filled with a lacework of carefully-placed grains of salt. The installation is housed within the castle tower at Aigues-Mortes. In its realization, the artist sits down in a small space where no particles are laid, simultaneously moving a container of salt in a particular rhythm, a subtle movement which creates tiny cells that mimic bubble-like patterns. Each of these thin salt ribbons symbolizes pieces of memories and fragments of time. The swirling, hurricane-like pattern is used as a motif used throughout East Asia to represent life and death, resurrection, rebirth and vitality. The ephemeral artwork was realized in 45 hours over the course of five days.


The installation ‘labyrinth’ is housed within the castle’s ramparts.

The installation ‘labyrinth’ is housed within the castle’s ramparts.

Via Designboom, where there are many more photos.


  1. rq says

    I admire the artist not only for his creativity, but also for his monumental patience.
    I’m starting to think that the second most-important trait an artist must have is simply patience. A lot of it.

  2. johnson catman says

    My wife and I have attended sessions of Tibetan Buddhist monks constructing a sand mandala. Fascinating work that obviously requires great patience. These salt designs are equally impressive. I wonder, since they will be on display through November, do they have to worry about the salt absorbing moisture and altering it?

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