Almost 30 years ago a Japanese custodian sat in front of a large A1 size sheet of white paper, whipped out a pen and started drawing the beginnings of diabolically complex maze, each twist and turn springing spontaneously from his brain onto the paper without aid of a computer. The hobby would consume him as he drew in his spare time until its completion nearly 7 years later when the final labyrinth was rolled up and almost forgotten. Twitter user @Kya7y was recently going through some of her father’s old things (he’s still a custodian at a public university) when she happened upon the maze and snapped a few photos to share on Twitter. She was quickly inundated by requests from friends and eventually strangers who had endless questions, the most obvious being: are you making prints!? I’m not sure if prints will be made (I’ll definitely let you know if I hear anything), but it still boggles the mind simply looking at these few snapshots. (via spoon and tamago)
Japanese artist Yamamoto Motoi was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1966 and worked in a dockyard until he was 22 when he decided to focus on art full-time. Six years later in 1994 his younger sister died from complications due to brain cancer and Yamamoto immediately began to memorialize her in his labyrinthine installations of poured salt. The patterns formed from the salt are actually quite literal in that Yamamoto first created a three-dimensional brain as an exploration of his sister’s condition and subsequently wondered what would happen if the patterns and channels of the brain were then flattened. Although he creates basic guidelines and conditions for each piece, the works are almost entirely improvised with mistakes and imperfections often left intact during hundreds of hours of meticulous pouring. After each piece has been on view for several weeks the public is invited to communally destroy each work and help package the salt into bags and jars, after which it is thrown back into the ocean, a process you can watch in the video above by John Reynolds & Lee Donaldson.
Yamamoto recently finished a new installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina and will soon be in Los Angeles at the Laband Art Gallery where he’ll begin work on a new piece. You can stop by the gallery August 29, 30, 31 and September 4, 5, 6, 2012 from 12-4pm to see the work in progress which will finally open in its completed state on September 8th. You can follow along via his blog. (via fastco)
The cavalcade of art projects surrounding the 2012 Summer Olympics in London continues today with the completion of this enormous book maze designed and built by Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo (and over fifty volunteers) at Southbank Centre. Entitled aMAZEme, the stacked and twisting labyrinth based on a fingerprint belonging to writer Jorge Luis Borges was built using 250,000 remaindered, used and new books, most of which are on loan from Oxfam and will be returned after the exhibit. The piece covers over 500 square metres, with sections standing up to 2.5 metres high and will be on display in the Clore Ballroom through August 25th. Watch the time-lapse video above to see the entire project come together, the volunteers worked through the night for five days to finish in time.