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140,000 Pieces of Paper Form a Colorful ‘Universe of Words’ Installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux

September 8, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All Photography: Daisuke Shima

Tokyo-based French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux (previously) recently hung 140,000 pieces of paper from the ceiling to create rainbow passageways in celebration of a Japanese soft drink company’s centennial. Each piece of paper is cut in the form of a symbol from the Japanese writing system, hiragana. The colorful installation, titled “Universe of Words,” opened this summer during the Tanabata Festival and was inspired by the tradition of writing wishes on paper and hanging them from bamboo branches.

There are 46 basic hiragana characters. According to a statement about the installation, Moureaux chose the simple language because of its use during Tanabata. “The universe created by these floating hiraganas evokes an emotion through its stillness and its endlessness.” Aligned in three-dimensional grids by color, sections of the installation were removed so that visitors could immerse themselves in the alphabetical tunnels, viewing them up close while also looking around at the seemingly endless rows of symbols.

“Universe of Words” is a part of Emmanuelle Moureaux’s ongoing 100 Colors series. To see more of her artistic and architectural work, follow Moureaux on Instagram.

 

 

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