Project Inspiration #4: Forest of Numbers, Emmanuelle Moureaux

Nov 14, 2018

Everything is connected, and so are the three major inspirations that have brought me to conceive 50 Shades of Green. Christo and Jeanne Claude’s The Gates connects with Fushimi Inari-Taisha in Kyoto, and the latest inspiration, Forest of Numbers by Emmanuelle Moureaux also connects, as the French-born artist lives and operates in Tokyo, where her incredible art installation has been created.

I discovered the installation and Emmanuelle Moureaux’s work this past summer, almost by accident, thanks to an article published by the sharing platform WeTransfer. I was working on one of my clients’ projects and I needed to share some bulky files, don’t remember if with a client or a collaborator. As usual, I used the free service provided by WeTransfer and, right after sharing the file, I have been struck by a vision, as the platform suggested to read their latest blog article.

As the article goes in it title, “It was as if I saw color for the first time”. That’s the actual title of the article, and also the way I felt watching the many beautiful pictures from Emmanuelle Moureaux’s awesome art installation. For the last coupe of years, and for my latest four major art installation works (The Zone, Apelle, Homenaje to Monegros and Homenaje to Aragon) I have been pretty much monochromatic, with a large use of the color red. Being exposed to the carnival of colors created by Emmanuelle Moureaux made something clicked inside me. It was if I saw color for the first time, and I decided that I wanted / needed to explore chromatic scales in my future works of art.

Now, let me also say that comparing 50 Shades of Green to Forest of Numbers is like comparing oranges to apples – where Emmanuelle Moureaux’s art installation is a beautiful, sweet, scented shiny orange, while my work is a fucking rotting apple. Well, come on… I love my project, and that apple looks great to me. But again, no comparison whatsoever, as there is no comparison at all with Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work, of course. Nevertheless, I feel very inspired by both.

Forest of Numbers, like Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s works also counted with a pretty good budget, and with a few hundreds of volunteers that helped creating and installing the artwork. The installation by the French-born, now Tokyo resident artist endlessly lists numbers spanning from 2017 to 2026, as it has been created for the 10th anniversary of Tokyo’s National Art Centre in Tokyo, and the numbers symbolise the decade to come. Forest of Numbers is also the latest artwork of a very long research Moureaux did with colors, that started with her art installation 100 Colors, where she actually managed to showcase 100 different shades of colors within the same artwork.

Also the installation, like The Gates and Fushimi Inari, plays with “gates”, this time created by the artist by twisting into the contemporary the ancient Japanese tradition of shōji, the space dividers made out of translucent paper and bamboo. Enough with the description, you really need to see this brilliant artwork, here is the link to the WeTransfer article that made me discover this beautiful piece of art and the amazing Emmanuelle Moureaux merely a few months ago.




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