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Emmanuelle Moureaux is a French architect, living in Tokyo. We invited her for the new edition of Miniartextil, to deconstruct and rebuild the main nave of the former church of San Francesco. Let's read about her passion for colours, bearing in mind she considers them as an important element to overcome and to go beyond boundaries.

In 1995, a week-long trip to Tokyo as an architectural student gave me the passion for colors. Overwhelming number of store signs, flying electrical cables, and the fragments of blue sky between various volumes of buildings – it was the flow of staggering colors pervading the street that built a complex depth and density, creating three-dimensional layers in the city of Tokyo. I felt a lot of emotions seeing all these colors. It was as if the first time I saw colors. In that very moment, my mind decided to move to Tokyo. In response to the unforgettable experiences of colors and layers in Tokyo, I came up with my design concept of “shikiri”, which means dividing (creating) space with colors. “Shikiri” is an invented name that literally means “to divide space using colors”. I use colors as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces – not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces.

Inspired by colors of Tokyo every day, I realized that colors can create a lot of emotions, create a unique atmosphere, felt entirely by the five senses, generating unlimited emotions. They can make people smile, laugh, surprise, react, talk, in all the cases they create a special moment of happiness. With colors, I try to give emotions to people. The overflowing effects of colors with "shikiri" show that the colors in architecture can give more than a space, but a space with additional layers of human emotion.
In 2013, for the 10th Anniversary of my studio, I began the installation series “100 colors”, which forms space using 100 shades of colors. Through the “100 colors” series, I want to share the emotion I felt from the cityscape of Tokyo. I want people to breathe and immerse in 100 shades of colors, to see, touch and feel colors with their senses to become more conscious of colors that exist around them. In "100 colors", colors are explored in various forms depending on the environment, to maximize the beauty of colors. "100 colors" entering the body with a glance triggers a physical response to engage with the sensation of colors. The installation series will continue to travel around the world.

At the beginning of this year, I designed the installation “Forest of Numbers” for the 10th Anniversary of The National Art Center, Tokyo. In the day life, we are surrounded by numbers, everything is created by numbers. I wanted to visualize the next 10 years to come, not the past 10 years. I decided to use 0 to 9 numbers to express the time of 10 years from 2017 to 2026 with 10 layers, where 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 my "100 colors" installation series, the layers of time were colored in 100 shades of colors. My favorite part of this installation is the tunnel. Walking through a multicolored forest of numbers, surrounded closely by infinite numbers was both a strange and an amazing feeling. Also, with the subtle changes of colors as you make a step forward, you can discover 100 colors one by one.