Emmanuelle Moureaux is a French architect living in Tokyo since 1996, where she established “emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design” in 2003. Inspired by the layers and colors of Tokyo that built a complex depth and density on the street, and the Japanese traditional spatial elements like sliding screens, she has created the concept of shikiri, which literally means “dividing (creating) space with colors”.
She uses colors as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces, not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces. Handling colors as a medium to compose space, her wish is to give emotion through colors with her creations, which range from art, design to architecture.
Her representative works include the architectural design for Sugamo Shinkin Bank, space design for ABC Cooking Studio, installations for UNIQLO and ISSEY MIYAKE, and stick chair. Since 2011, commissioned by the New Taipei City Government in Taiwan, she is handling the artistic design of the Mass Rapid Transit “Circular Line”, working on the color scheme of 14 km section, where her colors will spread into city-scale with its completion in 2016.
Her installation series – 100 colors – express emotions from the experience of colors and layers of Tokyo. Unveiled in 2013 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her studio, she is planning to exhibit “100 colors” in different cities around the world.
Her ‘100 colors no.18 Forest of Numbers’ is now on view at The National Art Center in Tokyo. The National Art Center, Tokyo has celebrated its 10th Anniversary in January. As a commemoration, it presented the museum activities of the past ten years in the Special Exhibition Gallery room, which was superimposed with a large installation “Forest of Numbers” – the symbolization of the next 10 years to come. Used without any partition walls for the first time, the 2000 square meter White Cube exhibition room became a canvas of the installation, filled with “100 colors”, inspiration and emotion, which became the largest installation of Emmanuelle’s work.
Photos by Daisuke Shima
The installation “Forest of Numbers” visualized the decade of the future from 2017 to 2026, created a sense of stillness across the large exhibition space. More than 60,000 pieces of suspended numeral figures from 0 to 9 were regularly aligned in three dimensional grids. A section was removed, created a path that cut through the installation, invited visitors to wonder inside the colorful forest filled with numbers. The installation was composed of 10 layers which is the representation of 10 years time. Each layer employed 4 digits to express the relevant year such as 2, 0, 1, and 7 for 2017, which were randomly positioned on the grids. As part of Emmanuelle’s “100
colors” installation series, the layers of time were colored in 100 shades of colors, created a colorful time travel through the forest.
Inside the colorful forest, two girls and one cat were lost inside, added playfulness to the installation. In concert with the installation, the compilation of exhibition posters from the last ten years filled the wall on the right, and the opposite wall across the room simply expressed the next ten years with white numbers. Because photography was exceptionally allowed, the installation has spread through various social networks, increasing number of visitors. This installation was created with the cooperation of 300 volunteers, excited the attention of over 20,000 visitors in 10 days.