The Doorway into the Labyrinth that is Design Build

As you may or may not know Studio V has been presented the task of building a viewing platform for one of Motoi Yamamoto’s in the Halsey Gallery here at the College of Charleston. So to start our process of design we have all taken one or more topics that may relate in any aspect to our project, anywhere from the chemical build up of salt (the artist’s medium), to types of construction methods we might be able to implement in our design. My two topics to research are Motoi Yamamoto and his work as well as the idea of a Labyrinth. I won’t get to much into the artist because there is so much that is worth knowing that I won’t have time to touch on but I would advise everyone to explore his site thoroughly because he is an amazing artist worth knowing, so here is his home page. Now what I would like to get into is the ideas behind his work, specifically his “Labyrinths”. His labyrinths are these massive yet extremely intricate salt installations that resemble mazes on the floor of whichever room he is working in. The main inspiration for his work comes from the seat of his sister due to brain cancer, it seems that it is a way for him to reconnect and remember his sister by using these labyrinths for meditation. Motoi says “what I sought for was the way in which I could touch a precious moment in my memories which cannot be attainable through pictures or writings. Motoi also states that “it is his wish that the viewers may use his labyrinth installations as a tool for meditation and an opportunity to reach some final point in their own thoughts.”

Now this brings us to the idea of a Labyrinth. Acording to The  Labyrinth , labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. With this understanding of a Labyrinth we can begin to understand Motoi’s purpose and that his labyrinths will take each viewer down there own path as they meditate upon is work.

Now that I have dove into the Ideas behind his Labyrinths I feel I should inform you that His instillation in the Halsey Gallery will not be a a Labyrinth, he will be doing one of his Floating Gardens such as the one below. Despite the fact that they are visually different i feel that the purposes my be similar i real that he still wants to get a similar effect from both styles, for us as the viewer to meditate and see into ourselves and discover what we might not know was there.

From this I hope that some how in our structure we can complement this Idea of a journey threw a Labyrinth not necessarily literally but some how mentally yet how we can do that is yet to be seen and so we open the doorway into the Labyrinth that is design build.

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