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第4回     What's the color of your name?/あなたの名前の色は

organized by Mizuki


There are  people who  have synesthesia, the ability to see colours and shapes in letters, sounds, tastes and smells. Although I don't have such a strong sense that affects my life, I also see colours in each number and have an image of personality in each letter of the alphabet... PUKAPUKA members are usually very particular about colours and shapes, so I'm sure they have some kind of synesthesia too! So I thought it would be a good idea to hold this workshop.
I had never illustrated my synesthesia before, so I was also interested in realising the images I have had in my head since I was a child. The aim was to discover the similarities and differences between our senses.

What to use:

・Paper(any size)


1. Ask members to name each of the two illustrations I have prepared. Then we play guessing games to find out which name is which. 
2. Make each member's first name (or surname) into three hiragana characters and reproduce them in simple shapes and colours. Synesthetic business card making.
Afterwards, everyone tries to guess whose business card they have made.



It was interesting to see that even though the synesthesia of each of the artists was completely different, we could somehow understand the images they intended to draw, or conversely, they drew the exact same motif. I wondered if the same name would produce different results if I imagined the name of a friend (someone I already know) and the name of someone I had never met before. (In this case, I used hiragana so that the person's image would not affect his or her synesthesia.) I thought that although each of us has our own synesthesia, we may have been influenced by the same things. For example, the colourful alphabet chart on the toilet when I was a child.... I also wonder if synesthesia is different in different age groups.

企画: Mizuki






1. 私が用意した二つのイラストにそれぞれ名前をつけてもらう。その後、みんなでどの名前かを当てあいっこする。
2. メンバーそれぞれの下の名前(または苗字)を三文字のひらがなにして、ひらがなそれぞれのイメージを簡単な形と色で再現する。共感覚の名刺作り。




When I first heard the term synesthesia, it didn't really hit me. Did I clearly perceive the colors and shapes of words, sounds, smells, etc.? I was even a little worried about whether I still had that sense.
When I actually thought about the letters and colors and outputted them, I was surprised to find that I could read the shapes that each member showed me afterwards.
I could not deny that they were pulled by the onomatopoeia unique to the Japanese language and the already existing forms of the letters, but I was convinced that they had a rather solid image of the letters, and the fact that the shapes they had drawn somehow resembled those of the other members convinced me.
I think this workshop was a very interesting experiment and opportunity for me to confront my latent senses.




Where did we get the images of shapes and colors in sound?
When I compared our works, I was surprised to see that some of the shapes were almost the same and some of the colors were common. Even if the colors and shapes were different, it was interesting to know what they were trying to express by looking at their works.




The colours and shapes I drew seemed to be immediately recognisable to all the members. How about you? 
As some of the members have common hiragana in their names, I wasn't sure whether to translate the hiragana into a coloured shapes to represent each person, or to translate the hiragana themselves. The result was rather the latter, but I think the fact that the same hiragana came out differently shows that synesthesia is easy changeable. I can imagine that the shape is influenced by the form of the letters, the shape of the mouth when we pronounce and the sound they make, but I wonder where the colours come from. Perhaps it was the colour of the crayon with which you drew the alphabet for the first time in your life....



I don't have synesthesia clearly, but I somehow had an image of colours for letters, so I was able to intuitively attach pictures to sounds as well.
When I looked at the diagrams, which showed that A-line letters are rounded, E-line letters are horizontal, and that they are probably pulled by the shape of the mouth when pronounced, I thought that the images in my head are also greatly influenced by my physical senses.


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