2002 Kai OZAWA Kojimachi Gallery
The earth is neither round nor flat.

 A relatively large labyrinth in a shape of circle, which gives an impression of Tibetan sand mandala, is drawn with salt on the surface of the gallery floor. In other work, another labyrinth emerges more clearly toward the foreground from a mass of salt in the depths of a space. On closer inspection at these installation works, although they have been finished and shown to the public, the labyrinth seems to be incomplete, not fully closed and suspended in its process of emerging. This implies a potential that the installations might expand beyond their immediate space or conversely shrink to nothing.
Yamamoto's installation work often evokes the viewer's physical response.

 One of the reasons for this could be found in the works spatial scale. His installations are often designed slightly larger than the given space. Such an inclination might have been nourished by his working experience at a shipyard. Yamamoto joined some projects to build super-tankers for international shipping companies at a shipyard in the Inland Sea (Seto-Nai-Kai). It seems that, because he dealt with far greater scales of space, he has come to represent a different physical experience from the one which is familiar to most of us in everyday urban life. Therefore, in his installations, one travels through a city experience in the gallery space; and yet on the other hand one might feel a sense of being somewhere else.

 Secondly, there is the volume of salt he uses. Yamamoto, whose works are often related to the idea of life or death, often employs salt as a symbolic material in Japanese death culture. However, the amount he employs can be several tonnes. In everyday life, when we talk about salt, it is usually within the realm of "a little bit" or "a few grams" in the context of cooking, table talk or food. Compared to this, the salt in Yamamoto's installations is overwhelming. There seems to be very little referential code to explain this volume or what is represented as such. This is as if he detaches the material from its social discourse and represents it as something eternal. Such a manner could appeal to a generalized physicality or perspective in social life.

 In this way, Yamamoto's installations could give rise to an experience which shake' one's socially tamed physicality and, at the same time, induces it into another layer of space. In this, one remains in the realm of a perspective which has been formed within social discourse; but one might also sense a wind blowing from an interstice of this realm.

Kai Ozawa