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Japanese artist turns 400 pounds of salt into art at LMU gallery

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Southern California residents will have the opportunity to view 400 pounds of salt turn into a piece of art.

The Laband art gallery at Loyola Marymount University will feature the Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto exhibit.

Motoi Yamamoto is a Japanese artist who creates large-scale salt landscapes, or saltscapes, using pounds of salt, patience and his talent. He started using salt after his sister died from a brain tumor in 1994 and creating these intricate sculptures served as a coping mechanism for this personal devastation.

Yamamoto started creating large scale salt landscapes in 2002 and this will be his first installation in the Los Angeles Area.

“Bringing a very important Japanese artist from Japan to L.A. to expose his work will hopefully touch the Japanese community, as well as the rest of the community.” said Carolyn Peter, Laband art gallery director.

Peter was the person responsible for bringing Yamamoto to the west coast after searching for something that was different and beautiful.

Yamamoto is enjoying his time in LMU because it is very calm, it’s not too noisy and the people are very kind.

The artist’s saltscape will take up to two weeks to create and the public is invited to view him work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 29 to 31 and Sept. 4 to 6.

When Yamamoto is finished with a piece, he said it is like climbing a mountain and finally reaching its peak.

The exhibit will open on Sept. 8 and will run through Dec. 8, when the public can also participate in collecting the pounds of salt and return it to the Pacific Ocean.

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