Artist in Hotel’ is an ambitious project that was launched in 2012 to give talented artists the opportunity to use entire hotel rooms as canvases in which to create masterpieces. The painter Nobuo Magome, for example, has chosen to explore the theme of supernatural creatures known as yokai. In European cultures, these are often depicted as the Devil or Satan. In Japanese tradition, though, there are eight million of these divine beings, some of which occasionally even play a protective role. The light colours used on each wall catapult us into a parallel universe, giving guests the impression of floating among the clouds. On the same floor, and in a nod to Soseki Natsume’s early-twentieth-century novel I Am a Cat, the maneki-neko – ‘lucky cat’ – room could have been called I Am a Maneki-Neko. Given the many maneki-neko images that cover the room’s screens and walls it would only be fitting, as visitors are thrown headlong into a world where humans and cats have switched places. A total of twenty of the hotel’s rooms have been decorated with designs that all tap into Japan’s unique traditions, culture and seasons, their themes ranging from sumo wrestlers to cherry trees and deities.
Words: Chikako Tonoi
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