Uruma, a city in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan hosts an annual arts festival called The Shimadakara (meaning “island treasure”). The festival celebrates artists and crafters of the southern islands. Participants often use natural materials found in their environment to create their art and this year’s showstopper was a huge dragon sculpture, designed by Japanese artist and designer Ayako.
The giant sculpture, named Ryu Miyagi, was created with wood and straw from Chinese fan palm. Ayako positioned the mythical beast as if it’s is peaking through the window of one of the village homes. The inspiration for the piece came from Japanese folklore of an undersea palace called Ryūgū-jō, ruled by Ryujin (the dragon kami of the sea).
Shiromadara, an Okinawa local, recently posted images of the impressive sculpture on Twitter, showing the incredible detail created with braided vines, dried palm leaves and hand-carved wooden teeth and eyes. When the wind blows, the natural elements make the dragon come alive with motion, as if it is floating in the air.
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