Return to the Sea: Saltworks
May 25 – July 7, 2012
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art has organized a major traveling exhibition of new work by contemporary Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto. The exhibition will premiere in Charleston May 24-July 7, 2012, as a featured presentation of the Spoleto Festival USA. Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto will travel nationally after its inaugural presentation, including stops in Los Angeles, CA, Charlotte, NC, and Monterey, CA. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a site-specific installation created entirely out of salt by the artist during his two-week residency at the Halsey Institute.
Curated by Mark Sloan, director and senior curator of the Halsey Institute, the exhibition will also feature a series of recent drawings, photography, sketchbooks, a video about the artist, and a 170-page color catalogue documenting fourteen years of the artist’s saltworks around the world. The catalogue includes essays by Sloan and Mark Kurlansky, author of the New York Times best seller, Salt: A World History. The video, produced by Sloan and Emmy award-winning videographer John Reynolds, will include interviews with Yamamoto at his studio in Kanazawa, Japan, insight into his creative process, still images and time-lapse videos of many of his previous installations, and an overview of the fascinating history of salt in Japanese culture.Yamamoto and the Halsey Institute are collaborating with the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston’s (CAC.C) Studio V Design and Build class to create two viewing platforms for the installation. This will be the fifth collaboration between the Halsey Institute and CAC.C’s Studio V class. The students, led by Ray Huff and David Pastre, will design and build a large platform in the Halsey’s main gallery to provide visitors with multiple vantage points of the large saltwork. The students will also build an outdoor viewing platform for the gallery window fronting Calhoun Street, providing curious passers-by with a glimpse of the installation 24 hours per day. These platforms will be in use during the run of the exhibition and also for Yamamoto’s residency, May 17- 24.