Art Friday: Montoi Yamanolo

Artist: Montoi Yamanolo
Born 1966
Japanese artist

Artworks created by using salt

The story about why Yamamoto started down this path is a sad and tragic one. He was a third-year student at the Kanazawa College of Art in 1996 when his younger sister died at the young age of 24 — two years after being diagnosed with brain cancer. To ease his grief and to honor her memory, he starting working on these installations. Salt has a special place in the death rituals of Japan, and is often handed out to people at the end of funerals, so they can sprinkle it on themselves to ward off evil. Since 2001, he’s been creating these amazing floor installations by filling a plastic bottle, usually used for machine oil, with white salt and then sprinkling it on the floor. 

As he told Japan Time, “I draw with a wish that, through each line, I am led to a memory of my sister. That is always at the bottom of my work. Each cell-like part, to me, is a memory of her that I call up, like a tiff I had with her over a pudding cake she took from the fridge. My wish is to put such tiny episodes together. (source)

Here is the link to Yamanolo's website

Labyrinth (Maze)
The piles of salt creating a stunning pattern - this creation is 3 metres by 11 metres
Montoi Yamanolo at work
Labyrinth (12 metres in diameter)

Cherry Blossom - so delicate and beautiful

Working on "Floating Garden"

Forest in the World
Ok to all you homeschoolers - now it is your turn to create a "salt master piece"!

Salt Wall


  1. They are amazing and would take a lot of time to create.

  2. This artwork is truly amazing. I'm sure it must take much patience and dexterity to create such fantastic works of art with salt.

    Of course, it is kind of sad that each work of art relates to his sister that passed. However, it is good that he loved her so much that he remembers her with each work that he makes. I guess this would make for a bittersweet combination?


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