Agency for Cultural Affairs, Goverment of Japan
Creator’s Voice Ryukyu Culture × nuQ

Gaining a sense of the chanpuru culture of Ryukyu that prospered in the history of trade

nuQ toured Okinawa and visited places such as Urasoe Youdore, the mausoleum of the early Ryukyu Kingdom. In this project, nuQ will create a large wall mural that incorporates animation. We asked her what sense she gained of the Ryukyu culture through the tour and her thoughts about creating this artwork. 

—Please share what impressions you had from the onsite tour.

I learned about the history of Ryukyu and Okinawa spanning around 30,000 years and realized that my vague understanding was only surface knowledge. I was especially impressed by the tomb of Eiso that I saw at Urasoe Youdore. The single tomb features different religions--mantras from Tibet, Buddha from Buddhism, and Islamic designs. Looking at the essence of the country that flourished from trade, I decided to base the exhibit on the concept of the chanpuru (mixed) culture of Ryukyu.

nuQ visits the Ryukyu garden, Shikina-en.
nuQ observes a replica of Eiso’s stone zushi (cabinet made of stone for storing bones).

—Please tell us about the artwork you are planning to create.

I'd like to combine the interesting parts of Ryukyu and Okinawa, both the old and new. The phrase, “mosaic culture” is similar to chanpuru culture, and in terms of Ryukyu it means the mosaic-like state that mixes cultures of the trading sites of Japan, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Before seeing my finished artwork, be sure to look at the original unfinished image with a mosaic (pixelation) applied (laughs).

The “mosaic” image of the wall painting being created by nuQ obscured by pixelation.

The exhibit space is a wall measuring approximately 15 meters, and I thought about what I can do with that space as an animator. Since the airport puts safety first, I can’t put the entire exhibit space in dark lighting, so I plan to incorporate animation into the large wall mural. Ordinary video uses 1920x1080 pixels, which translates to around 14 centimeters when printed, but this project is a very big wall mural measuring around 15 meters! It’s so large that I have to create an approach that’s different from the techniques I’ve developed so far. Right now I’m trying very hard through trial and error!


nuQ is an animator who creates fresh expressions with a comical pop sensibility. Specializing in eccentric color schemes and dynamic movement, she is active in a wide variety of media forms that include television commercials, music videos, illustrations, and more. She is the winner of several awards, among them the Grand Prize at the 18th Campus Genius Contest and Jury Selection in the Animation Division at the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival for New Tokyo Ondo, plus Jury Selection in the Animation Division at the 23rd Japan Media Arts Festival for The Last Episode. Her key projects in recent years include the “Three Mystic Apes” music video for Wednesday Campanella and the HIBERNATION 1: Healing Spring A Film & Moving Image Festival The Latest in Independent Animation exhibit at the Towada Art Center.