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SALT: Tracing Memories [Opens April 30, 2020]

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“Floating Garden,” Hamburg, 2015 – Photo: Andreas Weiss

Mystic Seaport Museum is proud to present the exhibition, SALT: Tracing Memories by contemporary Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto. His work is especially relevant to the Museum as his medium is salt, a mineral intertwined with the sea. The floor of the Collins Gallery will serve as Yamamoto’s canvas.

Over a period of ten days, the artist will meticulously fashion his vision of intricately carved shapes forming a 1,000-square-foot design, one of the largest he has ever created. During certain days, visitors will be able to view Yamamoto at work during the creation of the installation either from the floor or ascend ramps onto platforms to gain a different perspective. The installation will be enhanced by hands-on “tables” where visitors can shape their own designs out of the same type of salt used for Yamamoto’s sculpture.


The completed artwork will be displayed in the Collins Gallery in the Thompson Exhibition Building between May 9 and September 6. A time-lapse video of Yamamoto installing SALT: Tracing Memories will enable visitors to understand and appreciate the artistry and labor involved in its creation.

Yamamoto’s work is drawn from deep experiences of personal loss and cultural traditions. In Yamamoto’s words, “Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by; however, what I seek is to capture a frozen moment that cannot be attained through pictures or writings. What I look for at the end of the act of drawing is the feeling of touching a precious memory.”

Mystic Seaport Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following:

Leadership Circle
Jay S. and Jeanne Benet
Alexander and Amanda Bulazel
Chubb, the global insurance company,
in Honor of Robert G. Stone, Jr.
J. Barclay Collins, II
in Honor of Nicholas R. Bell
Charles and Irene Hamm
Ken and Dina Siegel
The Thompson Family Foundation

Patron Circle
Grant and Peggy Cambridge
Cape Branch Foundation
Hope H. van Beuren

Era of Exhibitions Sponsors
The Capital Group Companies
S. Carter Gowrie
M. Frank Higgins & Co. Inc.
Steve Stepler and Susan Scarritt
Robert and Susan Vincent