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Work / Animation

Animator Hoji Tsuchiya’s patchwork video for Japanese singer Uri Nakayama

Japan-born and Berlin-based animator Hoji Tsuchiya has created this bonkers stop-motion film for Japanese singer/songwriter/hairdresser Uri Nakayama for her latest track Spring Time-Old Man. The short sees a collaged world of happy figures dancing around a brightly coloured world full of textures and hand-drawn elements, where purple mountains and giant fishes are the norm. 

The film took five months to make and the kooky visuals emulate the bizarre nature of the song’s lyrics, which appear as English subtitles. Phrases range from the weirdly cute – “Pedalling a bicycle. Fluffy, fluffy… to anywhere” – to the downright odd – “He’s melting into the sky, flabby flabby… sayonara.” These charming phrases and Hoji’s naive animation complement each other by still maintaining some sense of reality with recognisable components like trees, lampposts, bikes and cars.   

The transition from scene to scene is like a patchwork quilt, as previous backdrops merge into new ones, creating a colour and pattern clash that works wonderfully. Within the hotchpotch environments are miniature, fleshy characters that appear throughout the animation giving the film a consistency and echoing the loose narrative of Uri’s track.   

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Hoji Tsuchiya: Spring time-old Man (still)

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Hoji Tsuchiya: Spring time-old Man (still)

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Hoji Tsuchiya: Spring time-old Man (still)

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Hoji Tsuchiya: Spring time-old Man (still)