The Entries With the Most Votes From Our Readers Each Win Exclusive Murakami Prizes
The votes have been tallied for our recent competition that asked readers to submit artworks inspired by the titles of Haruki Murakami novels and short stories. In the weeks running up to today’s release of the Japanese author's new English-language novel 1Q84, artistic responses to books including Sputnik Sweetheart, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood were uploaded to the site and voted on by the public. The six most popular entries, coming from as far and wide as Paris, Boston and Hanoi, feature on NOWNESS today; winners will each receive prizes of a first edition 1Q84 signed by the author and a complete archive of his previous works courtesy of Random House, Murakami’s publishers and our partners in the competition. The winners tell us about what fired their imaginations.
Kevin Lu, architect, Boston
My drawing was inspired by a line of 1Q84 that reads: "Tengo’s father turned in his direction. His expressionless eyes made Tengo think of two empty swallow’s nests hanging from the eaves." This comparison to lifeless, abandoned voids resonated with me, and I kept the drawing empty of color to reflect this.
Marion Hanania, shoe designer, Paris
I read Haruki Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart and it blew my mind. The story of Miu and Sumire is so powerful that I felt as if I was a part of it. The story is based on the symmetry between these two women and I was captivated by the strength of Sumire's absence, and Miu's ghost-like character
Steven Murashige, music video director, Los Angeles
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to create a piece of art for one of my all-time favorite authors. Inspired by Kafka on the Shore I sought to create a dream world as in the novel, inhabited by talking cats, fish falling from the sky, the sand, the ocean, the spirit presence, impending storm and a sense of mythology.
Amalia Airiz Casta, Caloocan City, Philippines
My artwork is inspired by Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart. Using a gel pen and color pencils I illustrated the character Miu with half-black and half-white hair to symbolize the enigmatic, doppelganger-esque changes she underwent in the book…The illustration is surreal because Murakami’s writing makes you feel as if you're tottering between reality and dreams.
Thuy Thu Pham, student, Hanoi, Vietnam
Haruki Murakami’s imagination inspires me in many ways. While reading his books all the scenes and characters seem to be right in front of me. Kafka on the Shore is one of my favorites. Nakata impressed me with his empty memories—somehow it meant he could live purely.
Jason Wang, graphic designer, Taichung city, Taiwan
"Talking cats are not to be trusted because I cannot imagine how their mouths would move", was one of the many peculiar thoughts that surfaced in my mind while reading Kafka on the Shore.
1Q84 is published by Alfred A. Knopf in the US and Harvill Secker in the UK, imprints of the Random House Group.