With 140k Pieces of Paper, Emmanuelle Moureaux Created a “Universe of Words”

French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux, who currently lives in Tokyo, created rainbow passageways using 140,000 pieces of colorful paper. Each paper is cut into a hiragana (Japanese writing system) symbol and together, they create “Universe of Words,” an installation Moureaux made for a Japanese soft drink company’s 100th anniversary.

Born in France in 1971, Moureaux moved to Tokyo in 1996 and opened her company there 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 screen,” as her website explains, “she has created the concept of shikiri, which literally means “dividing (creating) space with colors.”

The viewers can experience the sections of the installation from up close while standing in what seems like endless rows of symbols.