Emmanuelle Moureaux's rainbow installation changes colour over time
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Emmanuelle Moureaux's rainbow-hued installation seemingly changes colour

Artist Emmanuelle Moureaux used over 100,000 paper number cut-outs to create this multihued installation designed to visualise the passing of time.

On show at the Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design in Toyama, Japan, the Colour of Time installation is part of a series of exhibitions that aim to explore the different functions of materials.

Having chosen paper as her main material, Moureaux began observing the relationship between the sensory element of colour-change, and the mathematical element of time.

To combine the two, the Tokyo-based artist opted to create an installation that would visualise the process of time passing.

"The installation superimposes these two elements to visualise and make one feel the flow of time," explained the museum.

To achieve this, she made 120,000 paper numerical figures from zero to nine, as well as a colon symbol, which she then aligned to form a three-dimensional grid composed of 100 layers.

Each row of numbers denotes a time of day, from sunrise at 6.30am to sun fall at 7.49pm.

Different colours were also used to represent the time of day – resulting in a grid of colour that gets gradually darker to illustrate the transition from day to night.

"Through the tunnel, the sky is tinted with a beautiful gradation changing from pale to deep colours, flowing from time to time," they said. 

"The installation makes one feel the subtle changes in [the] atmosphere through the whole body by travelling the colourful flow of time."

A rectangular tunnel running through the middle of the installation has benches for visitors to sit down and be immersed in the work.

At the end of the tunnel is a chair titled Miss Blanche, designed by twentieth-century Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata.

"Miss Blanche is placed by the deputy director of Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art & Design, who is also curator of the exhibition, to create the axis to express a deep respect and admiration from Emmanuelle to Shiro Kuramata," explained the museum. 

Colour of Time was on show between 16 November 2017 to 8 January 2018.

Having established her architecture and design practice in Tokyo in 2003, Moureux's designs are characterised by their use of bright colours – for example, a rainbow-coloured cube facade and a multicoloured wedding dress inspired by snowflakes.

Photography is by Daisuke Shima.