About the Work

Floating Garden, 2012
image size: 6 ½ x 3 ½ inches
paper size: 11 ¾ x 8 ¼ inches
Giclee on Japanese paper

Floating Garden is part of a series of studio works exploring the natural forms of the spiral. The spiral pattern is found extensively in nature. It is encoded into plants, animals, weather systems, and galaxies in the cosmos. Yamamoto is interested in the many associations people bring to this enigmatic form. Using a variety of sharp pencils, he works on a white ground created by applying acrylic gesso on wooden panels. He then photographs the resulting drawings and prints the negative of the images on Japanese paper. The choice to use both positive and negative images further reinforces the artistʼs concepts regarding the duality of life and death.


  • Colin Quashie – Charleston, SC
  • David Boatwright – Charleston, SC
  • Don ZanFagna – Mount Pleasant, SC
  • Eames Demetrios – Los Angeles, CA
  • Erica Harris – Brooklyn, NY
  • Fahamu Pecou – Atlanta, GA
  • Geoffrey Cormier – James Island, SC with Michelle Van Parys, Charleston SC
  • Hamid Rahmanian – Brooklyn, NY
  • Heather McClintock – Boone, NC
  • Jiha Moon – Atlanta, GA
  • John McWilliams – McClellanville, SC
  • John McWilliams – McClellanville, SC
  • Joseph Burwell – Brooklyn, NY
  • Kathleen Robbins – Columbia, SC
  • Kendall Messick – New York
  • Leslie Wayne – New York City, NY
  • Martha Strawn – High Springs, FL
  • Motoi Yamamoto – Kanazawa, Japan
  • Nancy Marshall – McClellanville, SC
  • Pedro Lobo – Évora, Portugal
  • Phyllis Galembo – New York City, NY
  • Pinky Bass – Fairhope, AL
  • Renee Stout – Washington, DC
  • Renée Stout – Washington, DC
  • Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin – New York, NY
  • Ruth Marten – New York, NY
  • Ruth Marten – NY, NY
  • Tanja Softic´ – Richmond, VA
  • Tom Stanley – Rock Hill, SC
  • Motoi Yamamoto – Kanazawa, Japan

    Motoi Yamamoto was born in Onomichi, Hiroshima in 1966 and received his BA from Kanazawa College of Art in 1995. He has exhibited his creations around the globe in such cities as Athens, Cologne, Jerusalem, Mexico City, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toulouse. He was awarded the Philip Morris Art Award in 2002, as well as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2003.

    Yamamoto is best known for working with salt, often in the form of temporary, intricate, large-scale installations. Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Yamamoto forged a connection to the element while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her.

    Yamamoto was a participant in the 2006 group exhibition Force of Nature: Site Installations by Ten Japanese Artists, cocurated by Mark Sloan and Brad Thomas, and staged at various venues throughout North and South Carolina, including the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. The artist returned to Charleston in 2012 with the exhibition Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto — a featured presentation of Spoleto Festival USA.



    Each year we offer a new set of limited edition prints available exclusively to our members at the Postmodernist level and up. Artists who have been a part of the Halsey Institute’s programming have specially created these prints for us. Beginning at the POSTMODERNIST level ($350), you may choose from one of the prints we have available. Many of the prints are featured on the walls of our hall of Patron Prints located on the first floor of The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts, just down the hall of the Halsey Institute.  Gradually, you can build your art collection while supporting adventurous contemporary art in Charleston! For more information, please contact Tatjana Beylotte at beylottetf@cofc.edu or 843-953-5652.


    Community Partners 2017