The public is invited to take part in an unprecedented event at Mint Museum Uptown as internationally renowned artist Motoi Yamamoto visits to create a temporary large-scale work out of salt in the building’s atrium over two weeks in late February.
Motoi, who calls his native Japan home, will be in the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium creating his saltwork, to be entitled Floating Garden, from February 18 through March 1 and the public is invited to watch him at work during regular museum hours. Atrium access is free, although visitors must pay admission to experience the saltwork from higher vantage points within the five-story space. The museum is normally closed on Mondays but will also grant free public access to the atrium level on February 18 and 25 (no other areas of the museum will be open those days). The museum will also continue to grant free access to all levels each Tuesday from 5-9 p.m., the Mint’s normally scheduled free hours. The work will be celebrated at a “First Look Friday” on March 1 at 6:30 p.m., remain on view March 2, and then be dismantled on March 3.
“Japanese installation artist Motoi Yamamoto’s residency here in Charlotte is another opportunity for the Mint to present to our community innovative works by an international roster of artists,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint.
“In Japan, salt is a symbol of purification and is also used in funeral ceremonies. Motoi’s remarkable body of work was born out his grief following the death of his young sister in 1994 from brain cancer. It was at that point Motoi adopted salt as his primary medium and for almost twenty years, he has developed a unique artistic expression that celebrates both life and remembrance,” said Brad Thomas, the Mint’s curator of modern & contemporary art. “It is not until you experience Motoi and his work in person that the true impact of his singular, yet universal, journey is felt.”
The “First Look Friday” from 6:30-11 p.m. on March 1 is free to Mint members and tickets are available to non-members for $15 per person. The night will also celebrate the openings of two other special exhibitions at Mint Museum Uptown, F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design) and Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today, as well as including a multicultural “Mint to Move” dance party (more details on all exhibitions and events available at mintmuseum.org).
The community is also invited to help dismantle the saltwork at a special ceremony on March 3 at 1:30 p.m. Visitors may collect salt in specially designed containers to be released back into a body of water so that it may re-enter the natural cycle. Participants are encouraged to document their own personal ceremonies and upload images to Motoi’s website at www.motoi.biz, and the Mint’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/mintmuseum.