If you had 50 hours and 2000 pounds of salt, what would you do with it? For Motoi Yamamoto, the answer is simple: make a salt labyrinth. The patterns are meant to convey a sense of eternity while the salt itself is used because it possesses “a close relation with human life beyond time and space.” In Japanese culture, salt is often sprinkled after leaving a funeral in order to ward off evil.
However, like most public installations, the salt labyrinths are impermanent. Yamamoto encourages the salt to be returned to the ocean because he “likes to think the salt in his work might have, at one time, been part of some creature and supported its existence.”