Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto is back with an amazing, new installation all made out of salt. Floating Garden resembles the ominous image of a tropical storm, similar to the satellite shot you’d see during a weather forecast. Using ordinary table salt, Yamamoto meticulously constructs his incredible works, this time spending more than 10 hours a day for over a week on the floor of The Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
The artist started working on the installation on February 24 and just completed it last night. The opening reception is tonight and it will remain on display until April 12. The salt, which was donated by The Morton Salt Company, will ultimately be dispersed into the Great Salt Lake.
For those unfamiliar with this artist, Yamamoto began working with salt in 1994 after his sister, just 24 at the time, died of brain cancer. In order to cope with her death, he began making art that reflected his grief. In Japan, salt is used as a part of rituals in some funeral ceremonies and also used to ward off evil spirits and welcome good ones.
A British artist of Nigerian descent, Shonibare (b. 1962) creates work that cites the artistic and intellectual history of Europe. His sculptures—life-sized mannequins clothed in the Dutch wax fabrics associated with Africa—offer a dramatic, playful, irreverent examination of identity, history, and politics.Yinka Shonibare MBE’s decapitated mannequins in their vibrant batik fabric outfits cavort through a collage of influences that the British-born, Nigeria-raised artist has excavated from the complicated history of culture.
Los Angeles based artist John Espinosa works primarily in sculpture and installation. Much of his work often involves nature and animals in general. Thus it can be easy to tie his art to ideas of ecology and the environment. However, Espinosa’s artwork also really seems to be rather personal. In his artwork he is often concerned with ideas of knowledge and belief, but particularly the way in which they exist between people. Several of his sculptures depict animals joined by a jagged electric-like structure, as if communicating or interacting through it. At times the animals seem frightened or aggressive and other times as if in the middle of a trance. Yet they are all still joined, perhaps a reference to shared belief systems.