Motoi Yamamoto’s Incredible Saltscapes
Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto sees more uses in salt than the ordinary person. His artwork stems from the death of his sister, who passed away at a young age from brain cancer. In Japanese culture there is an idea of throwing salt over yourself after you attend a funeral acts as a sort of cleansing. So Yamamoto started using salt as his medium, creating intricate labyrinths and mazes as he calls them. Not only does Motoi create intricate patterns but full scale installations as well.
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At the beginning of the nineties, Di Renzo leaves Italy to have first experiences in the field of fashion photography. Amongst others, he works in Istanbul for fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. In 2001, Di Renzo returns to Switzerland for a short time to work as an advertising and fashion photographer. A few years later, his work draws the attention of fashion designer Tsumori Chisato who commissions him for an international campaign as well as a store concept. During this period, Di Renzo – who in the meantime has moved to New York/Los Angeles – takes up work on his first book of photographs, „Portraits of Illusions“. The photo book tells short stories with pictures taken, amongst others, in Ireland, New York, and the Seychelles. The photos intentionally drift away from reality - Di Renzo’s motto being: Move away from Realism. The book is published by Assouline in 2006, with a preface by critic Gabriel Bauret. During this time, Di Renzo works with, amongst others, Devon Aoki, Chloë Sevigny, Natalia Vodianova, Dean&Dan (DSQUARED).
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Larry Towell first encountered the Mennonites near his home in Ontario, Canada, and his friendship with them has gained him unique access to their communities. Originating in Europe in the sixteenth century, the Mennonites are a Protestant religious sect, related to the Amish. Rather than compromise their way of life, they have continually been forced to migrate around the world to maintain their freedom to live as they choose. The greatest numbers are now found in Mexico, and many live or regularly migrate to work in rural Canada. Towell has been photographing Mennonites in Canada and Mexico for over ten years, and this collection, “The Mennonites”, creates a unique and intimate portrait of an often-misunderstood people. In addition to his images, Towell’s own texts tell in poignant and descriptive detail his experiences with the Mennonite communities: the harshness and poverty of their rural existence, the disciplines and contradictions of their religion, their hunger for land and work, and the constant struggle to keep the modern world at bay