Salt (Baltic Sea)2011
crystallized salt from seawater in Eckernförde, Germany
plastic bags, paper, frames
7 Pieces, 42.5 x 32.5 x 3 cm each
Drifting from sea to sea
July 22 - 24, 2011
The seven bags contain a series of white powder, which are hung inside seven identical frames. Each bag is pinned to a piece of paper which records the date, amount, and name of the location in which the white powder was collected. Eckernförde is a port town in the northern region of Germany that faces the Baltic Sea.
This white powder is sea salt, which I refined from the seawater. Though their colors seem almost close to white, if you compare the bags side by side and one by one, you will notice the subtle variations in color. Some have a shade of pink, some pale yellow, and some tawny. The white background makes visible these nuances of the colors.
The salts are crystallized using just three liters of seawater. I collected the water sample from same location each day for the duration of a week and gathered in total seven different water samples. Then I extracted salt from each sample using the same method. And yet, each of the identical procedures yielded a different result. For example, if you compare them, you can see the difference in both quantity and conditions.
The motivation behind making this work came to me when I heard about the earthquake and tsunami that struck Tōhoku in 2011. Being so far away from my home country, I could only experience the tsunami virtually, through the videos on the television and on the web. Yet I saw and felt the same body of water that devastated Japan in Eckernförde. By creating a work around the theme of sea, I wanted to create something visible out of the transparent, something actual from the virtual.
The ocean surrounds the world and allows natural disasters like tsunami to cast floating wrecks ashore. Similarly, the salt dissolved in the seawater freely drift from coast to coast, constantly crossing the borders. Each of them has its own memory of the places and the times it has traveled. The variations in color and mass of the salt, I thought, reflected these differences.