Open 11–18 today

Motoi Yamamoto

Floating Garden
1 September – 13 October 2013


From crystal to cosmos

The Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto (* 1966 in Hiroshima) has gained international renown with his ornamental, often labyrinthine floor installations of sprinkled salt.

In the glass inner courtyard of the Ernst Barlach Haus Yamamoto will now create a 100-square-metre 'floating garden', whose spiralling structures of salt on a dark background are evocative of a gigantic whirl of cloud.

Motoi Yamamoto chose salt as the sole material for his art in 1994, after his younger sister died of a brain tumour. Salt plays a central role in Japanese burial rituals as a purifying, life-giving force that drives away evil.

“Since the early death of my little sister I have continually worked at regaining my memories of her. This installation is the attempt to make a whole personality visible from tiny fragments of memory.”

Motoi Yamamoto

Drawing the Floating Garden with 125 kilograms of salt took over 100 hours – a concentrated and exhausting work of memory leading to a salt landscape of fragile and ephemeral beauty. The work will only be on show for six weeks – until 13 October 2013. Then it will be transformed with visitors’ help into a different state in the action ‘Return to the Sea’.