Snapshot: French architect and artist Emmanuelle Moureaux moved to Tokyo two decades ago, drawn to the complex layering of a city known for how its cultural past informs its constant reinvention in the present. Moureaux uses color to construct a space or object, and then divides it a hundredfold over a custom-designed palette. The 100 Colors Lab is her installation series, a way to permeate space with color while also uncovering the mood of an object.
Amidst the vibrant aggregate of street signs, cables, cars, and “fragments of blue sky between various volumes of buildings,” Moureaux theorized shikiri, and it has informed her work ever since. It is a way to understand the architecture and emotions which come with experiencing the vastness of the city - especially amongst the visual tumult of the world’s most populous metropolitan area. Moureaux uses color to construct a space or object, and then divides it a hundredfold over a custom-designed palette. The 100 Colors Lab is her installation series driven by shikiri, a way to permeate space with color while also uncovering the mood of an object.
While Moureaux’ other iterations of shikiri have included chair design, vast installations in Shinjuku Central Park and within UNIQLO, her current project focuses on a slightly smaller scale. She teaches at the Tohoku University of Art and Design where she challenges her students to choose an item from their daily life and reenvision it in 100 different colors. These installations form long, sequential lines, mobiles, spreading puzzle-like scenes, or sculptures. The objects vary from umbrellas, macaroons, and ice, to time, melting, and sound. Each schematic enlightens the object (or concept), giving it a hundred emotions like a massive mood ring.
Moureaux explains that “although people can see millions of colors, people are living among the limited classification of colors, such as yellow, orange, pink, red, green, blue, and so on.” The lab allows a deeper experience of color through a familiar object or concept. Seeing time - here, a clock face - hung in 10 shades of violet (moving towards red and blue on either end) allows an experience of the shades between. The hope for Moureaux is that her students, and those who experience the installations, will stretch their perception of color and emotion as significant and sometimes surprising elements of the world around us.