Saya and Telyuka – Pioneers in the Realm of Virtual Humanity


In the constantly evolving world of digital art and virtual reality, few names have carved a niche as distinctively as TELYUKA, an artist unit known for their groundbreaking work in creating Saya, a photorealistic virtual human. Comprised of Teruyuki Ishikawa (TEL) and Yuka Ishikawa (YUKA), a married couple, TELYUKA has transcended conventional boundaries in computer graphics, presenting a fascinating blend of artistic vision and technological prowess.

The Genesis and Evolution of TELYUKA

TELYUKA’s journey began in the late 1990s, with Teruyuki and Yuka embarking on careers as CG artists. Their early work primarily revolved around producing 3D computer graphics (3DCG) for games and videos, a foundation that would later prove instrumental in their venture into more ambitious projects. In 2011, the duo formalized their collaboration as ‘TELYUKA’, marking the beginning of a new chapter in their artistic endeavors. This collaboration was not just a professional partnership but also a personal one, as the two artists were married, bringing a unique synergy to their work.

The duo’s expertise as CG Generalist Artists became the cornerstone of their work, allowing them to handle various aspects of CG production. Their role as the representatives of GarateaCircus Co., Ltd., further solidified their position in the industry. The recognition they received, including being selected for the Jury Recommended Works in the Entertainment Division of the Media Arts Festival and appearances on prominent television shows, is a testament to their innovative contributions to the field of digital art.

Saya: A Milestone in Virtual Human Representation

The announcement of Saya in 2015 marked a significant milestone in TELYUKA’s career. Saya, envisioned as a 3D CG high school student, was not just a feat of photorealistic rendering; she represented a leap forward in the concept of virtual humans. TELYUKA’s continuous updates to Saya’s body and attire have kept her at the forefront of this field, showcasing the potential of virtual beings in various domains, including events, media appearances, and collaborations.

The creation and evolution of Saya reflect TELYUKA’s vision of integrating virtual beings into society. They envisaged Saya not merely as a digital creation but as an entity capable of independent thought and action, potentially assisting in daily life and societal roles. This aspiration goes beyond the confines of art and delves into the realm of functional utility and social integration.

The Societal Role and Future Aspirations of Saya

TELYUKA’s approach to Saya’s development is rooted in the desire for societal acceptance and utility. They envision Saya playing a constructive role in society, with her design and functionality tailored to fit various social contexts. This perspective diverges from the traditional view of virtual characters as mere digital entities or avatars; it positions Saya as an integral part of the social fabric, capable of contributing meaningfully to human experiences.

Looking towards the future, TELYUKA aims to explore and expand the capabilities unique to virtual beings like Saya. They seek to address and complement human limitations, envisioning a future where virtual entities not only coexist with humans but also enhance human capabilities and experiences. This vision encapsulates the duo’s ambition to push the boundaries of what virtual humans can achieve, both in terms of technological advancement and social integration.