Model / NOMA
The inside of Model NOMA’s head is always overflowing with such mysterious thoughts. The reason she can smile and feel thankful for even the trivial things in life is because she keeps the power of nature close to herself, and incorporates it wherever she goes.
To her, wearing ARTIDA OUD jewelry selections which are based on plant or space themes is one way to remain natural. We looked into her resonating heart for this interview.
Love for space, is also love for ourselves. Please enjoy this interview of epic scale.
To be myself even in the city, I remained conscious of nature and the universe
ーーーYou’re very successful as a model, but you have a great knowledge of the universe and nature. Where does your interest in natural science come from?
I was raised in an area where I could feel the beauty of the Earth, and I also received a lot of influence from my parents. I’m from Saga prefecture which is full of nature. I used to play in the rivers and camp at night, peeking out from inside my tent to look at nature’s planetarium. I even made 3 secret bases on my own (laughing). I grew up in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by nature. Both of my parents were biologists, so they often had ‘National Geographic’ and all kinds of encyclopedias in the house. I naturally became interested in plants, animals, and the universe.
ーーーYou love space so much that you host a radio show with it as the main theme, but could you tell us about a time when you felt the appeal of space?
There are so many, but… I love the word “light”. For example, a star 10,000 light years away gave off light that travelled through space for 10,000 years, and then that light finally reached Earth. In that way, light is the universe’s memory. The Big Bang happened 13.8 billion years ago and so many things were created, including the Earth, and towards the end of the endless evolution, humans were born. If you think about it, space often feels far away, but you can really see that we’re a part of space. If we go back to the very beginning of it all, you can even say that we were born from light.
ーーーHow did you become involved with the production and creative work behind a cafe based on sustainability?
I left Saga and went to university in Fukuoka, later moving to Tokyo and becoming a model. A lot of things in Tokyo are very fast-paced, and there’s a lot of stimulation. I matched my work rhythm with the fun and excitement but I quickly became worn-out. My natural biorhythm and that of Tokyo’s were totally different.
The job of a model is to work as yourself and relax as much as possible while projecting and becoming the required character according to the work theme at any particular time. But if you’re worn-out that’s difficult. So then I thought, “What do I need to be myself?”, and I looked internally. What first came up was my interest in plants and the universe that I had since my youth. Looking back, each moment in my life feels like it has a tag placed on it. Not just points, but a line that connects to the current. To be myself despite living in the big city, I thought it’s important to use the power of plants in my daily life, and be conscious about the providence of the universe.
Earth’s resources are limited. Take sustainable actions for the future
ーーーI see. I heard that your pieces are made from scrap wood. What kind of feelings do you put into them?
My series of pieces called #nomapix came from me not wanting to throw away polaroid pictures that I had messed up. I started using them as a canvas about 8 and a half years ago, and that led to what you see now. What I’m printing now are polaroid pieces, paper pieces, and digital pieces made by pictures which I’ve taken and stacked over each other. If I’m going to use them as a foundation, I want to put a lot of care into selecting also the materials I used to paint the image of the universe in my head. Things like expired cosmetics and dried out stationery. I also use things like croquis books or sketch books that I have at home for paper pieces. I try to use as many things that are on hand as possible.
My feeling is that by doing so, I can create works for a long time which don’t use the Earth’s resources too much. I want to express that feeling through my production and creative work as well. After all, the Earth’s resources are limited and so I want to restrict my use of them in my own daily life and artistic expression.
ーーーAt ARTIDA OUD we also just started using recycled metals as part of sustainable activities for the future, so we can sympathize with your feelings. We also heard that you like yoga. Do you perform it as a way to find your balance in daily life?
Yeah, that’s right. I’ve been doing yoga since I was 18, and about 3 years ago I went to a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Nepal for a few days and noticed something. At the temple, we spent five days doing yoga and meditation, learning the philosophy of yoga, and going on retreats (get away from daily life and reflect on yourself). At that time, I thought that myself during yoga was close to myself when I’m in nature. You aren’t really thinking about anything, but it feels as if your heart and mind and all the cells of your body become one. The feeling is like being taken back to floating in the ocean or being in the mountains. In that way, yoga is something I can’t live without.
ーーーOther than yoga, is there anything you recommend to people in the city to help them feel closer to nature?
Definitely fragrances. I use plant fragrances to tune my heart and body. I think about what kind of energy level I want to have that day, or how I want to shape my body that week. By using different aromas, I think I can support my will and my body. ARTIDA OUD really puts emphasis on their aromas as well. Your organic hand cream “Il Notturno” has a gentle fragrance of jasmine which wafts delicately and elegantly. I feel comfortable wearing it when I want to express my femininity in a casual setting.
ーーーPlease tell us about your hopes and dreams moving forward
Through my life work including traveling, plants, and the universe, I want to send a message that allows us to feel liberal arts as humans. Now everything is divided into genres: math, environmental studies, sociology, fashion, etc. When you trace it all back to the origin, though, they are connected. I don’t know if it will be through events or by use of certain places, but I want to continue sending a message which elicits a feeling of their connectedness. If I had the time and money, I’d even want to make my own school. It’s such a waste that all of the moving knowledge and inspiration I’ve received from scientists and scholars is kept inside me. If I had heard all of their stories in my teens or twenties, I might have been even more interested in those topics. I think I might have even liked learning. That’s why I want to share them.
Having moisture and brilliance: The moment those traits shine
ーーーThe theme of our brand is raw beauty “women’s natural beauty without splendorous decorations”. In your opinion, what is raw beauty - natural beauty.
It’s completely my opinion, but the moment when the individuality of each creature shines with moisture and brilliance as a living body on the Earth. In human terms, that may be “being yourself”, but either way that is what I see as beautiful.
ーーーHaving said so, have you seen any scenery or phenomena which captured your heart?
Yeah, I’ve seen a lot. For example, I thought I wanted to live closer to nature, and I moved to Yokohama. I work 2 or 3 days a week from home, but I always make time to watch the sunset each day. It’s really beautiful. It’s so beautiful it feels like the earth, sunset, myself, my entire being- body and soul are all connected. It’s like entering a state of meditation. I feel really good at that time and I feel a lot of power. I learn and feel a great deal of things from nature.
ーーーThinking of “natural beauty” as a human, we think internal beauty is something to consider. Please tell us if there are any words, books, or movies that helped you grow into the person you are today.
Recently, I read something before an event that I thought was wonderful. Rachel Carson, an environmental activist and scientist was the writer. I was really convinced by what she’d written, and it reinforced my feeling that I truly like the universe and nature.
“Whoever feels the beauty and mystery of the Earth, whether a scientist or not, will never be bored, lonely, or grow tired of life.” -Rachel Carson, ‘Sense of Wonder’.
They’re really wonderful words. My husband spends most of the month living in the mountains, and my friends often ask me “Aren’t you lonely?”. I’m not sure if it’s because of the land in Yokohama or not, but I never feel lonely even for a moment. I feel like it’s easier to feel lonely when living in the city.
ーーーAt ARTIDA OUD, we aim to make creative and sustainable jewelry using themes from space, plants, and other magnificent aspects of nature, just as you like.
For me, ARTIDA OUD’s existence is my curiosity. This is the first jewelry brand I’ve ever found that resonates with me. Whenever I’m wearing one of your pieces, I feel so calm. I feel energetic in a quiet way. I feel like I can be more like myself.
I guess I’m kind of pouring all the things that I love about space and plants into my jewelry. Nature is truly beautiful and even ancient people understood that, and left behind traces of its influences throughout history and culture. We want to keep nature’s mystery and the unreachable expanses of space close to ourselves. I think that’s a very human thing, and it appeals to me. I’m so happy to be able to connect with that spirit which is unchanged since ancient times through the world view of ARTIDA OUD even in busy modern times.
"elafonisi" blue sapphire and amethyst pave diamond triple open ring 41,040yen (with tax) / "elafonisi" pave new moon green tourmaline citrine single pierced earring 19,440yen (with tax) / "elafonisi" jupiter green tourmaline single pieced earring 17,280yen (with tax)
ーーーThank you! Please tell us which ARTIDA OUD jewelry you particularly like
Oh no! That’s so hard… I like all of it (laughing). I even used the “bone” series in my wedding ceremony. It really reminds you of ancient civilizations. I would like to design the human body as a canvas, but I think the jewelry fulfills that desire for me. My wedding theme was “a green planet floating in space” and we held it in the great outdoors.
“Bone” was perfect for bringing out that feeling of space in the middle of nature. As soon as I saw it I thought “This is the one!”. At the ceremony, I attached hoops to a double finger ring for my ears and at the reception I wore a choker around my neck.
I also like the circle motif “jupiter” series. It’s wonderfully mysterious in that it looks like a comet is spinning through space. I also like the colorful “elafonisi” series with its crystal clear green emerald ocean and fantastic pink sandy beach images. I really like all of them, I can’t choose (laughing).
"jupiter" disque pave diamonds open bangle 26,400yen (with tax) / "jupiter" K18YG disque pave diamonds ring 52,800yen (with tax) / "selene" K18YG grand disque pave diamonds ring 88,000yen (with tax) / "raw beauty" K18YG sliced and pave diamonds ring 82,500yen (with tax)
ーーーPlease give a message to all of the people working hard in various fields
I want all of you to put value on time to fully cherish all things in nature. We often get overwhelmed with things in front of us including our work, but I think valuing the small details of the world around us will enrich your daily life. There’s a lot of things you can do, but even taking a bit of time to watch the sunset, or stargaze, or fall in love with the beauty of the moon can give you some space from all of the busy things surrounding you. Looking at the Earth as a heavenly body really makes you feel the mystery of it.
Born to a Japanese father and a sicilian american mother, she was raised like a wild child in the nature of Saga Prefecture. Focusing on her love for plants and the universe since childhood, she has appeared on multiple talk shows and events relating to beauty, culture, science, and other varieties. Her hobbies include traveling, exploring natural sciences, photography, perfume, up-cycle art, and fantasizing.
COSTUME COOPERATION／DOMENICO+SAVIO PR01.
NAIL／SHOKO SEKINE (mojo NAIL)