What＇s your impression about Donghe? You may have stopped here eating pork bao, or specially came to watch Taiwan Open of Surfing, but today we’ll begin a different trip! We’re going to visit Nosoon Couple, who is the founder of the new cultural and creative brand of Taitung, and listen to their story!
Nosoon Couple, which is a new-generation cultural and creative brand founded by Yi-yong and Rong-ting in 2013. This Amis male and Hakka female couple live in Donghe tribe, and they often share their life stories on Instagram. A dog, two cats, the couple and a lovely grandma intertwined an interesting family life, making people can’t help but smile. And the colorful tribal life is also one of the reasons why they’ve got countless fans online. In summer, they go to the beach for surfing, catching sea urchins, or just basking in the sun, and in winter, they chat around the fire. Even if they need to take product promotional photos, they won’t forget to swim by the waterfall. Of course, there are also many daily shares such as fitness, dressing and remodeling of the house. Now, you may be surprised to find that the largest proportion of the Nosoon couple’s social page is not about their designs! This is their charm. Life is the core of this brand.
When it comes to the origin of the brand, it’s necessary to trace the encounter between the couple. Yi-yong and Rong-ting have started a relationship since they were in college. Because Rong-ting had loved drawing since she was a child, she had always maintained the habits of drawing even if she was not studying in a related department. However, she only sampled cartoon characters or painted customized portraits at that time. It wasn’t until her junior year when the professor elected her work as the Cultural and Creative Talent Award that she began to think about the connection between her work and the cultural and creative industry. In view of her love of indigenous culture, she often took Yi-yong to take cultural courses together, and obtained a lot of nourishment from it. So with the mention of the professor, she determined to combine these two preferences to develop indigenous culture and creative work. At that time, Rong-ting asked Yi-yong, “What is the name of our brand?”, Yi-yong replied, “No need to rush. Just take our time.” And this is the origin of the name “Nosoon Couple”. Due to the huge differences in the type of creation, they initially used the illustrations about 16 indigenous ethnic groups as a declaration of transformation, and later their creation focused on Amis culture, like Ina’s Power and Love in the Star, these two designs was based on the eight-pointed star which is the most representative totem in Amis culture, combined with imagery such as the betel nut or the dream catcher, to create a different scenery of indigenous cultural and creative work.
“In the beginning, this brand was created with traditional patterns. It was a year after returning to Taitung to establish our current style.” Rong-ting said that the following three designs truly combine tribal life, family stories and the indigenous spirits. The first one is named Returning. Its main body is MINOKAY, which means “go home” in Amis language, a turtle, an anchor and a peony flower is painted in the text, symbolizing the wanderer’s infinite miss for the hometown. The second one is named Whale-Life, its main body is the story of whale fall. When the whale passes away, its corpse will slowly sink to the bottom of the sea and become an oasis for other creatures, just like the tribal elders will pass their wisdom to the next generation before they pass away, which is of special significance. The newest one is named Safe and Sound. Its main body is the Japanese Omamori with a goat’s head, using the goat’s habit of walking among the cliffs to compare the dangers of human survival in society. Faloco’ at the top means “heart” in Amis language, encouraging everyone to have a strong heart. The common point of these three works is that none of them can be identified to be related to indigenous culture at first glance, but when you read the design concept, you will understand this is exactly the whole new pattern of the indigenous cultural creation. Without embroidery, totems and other traditional elements, the indigenous spirit is directly transformed into images, which is extremely charming.
Yi-yong returned home to live a tribal life, acting as the spiritual core and behind-the-scenes helper, and Rong-ting started a brand, acting as a designer and social marketer. Along the way, they complement each other. Asking about the most unforgettable thing, Rong-ting said that when the brand was just founded, she took extra credits in order to learn more about the indigenous culture, so she had no time to work. In addition, the sticker she produced at that time only sold for NT$10, which can not make money. To support Rong-ting’s pursuit of her dream, Yi-yong went to work to cover the living expenses of two people. She clearly remembered that on the payday every month, they would deposit money in the piggy bank together, carefully guarding the results of their hard work. Yi-yong went on saying that it’s also the most unforgettable period for him. He loves her, so he is willing to support what she wants to do, and it’s also because Rong-ting had taken her to go to classes and returned to the tribe together, he has transformed into a man who loves his tribe and identifies with his culture so much. “I helped her start a business, and she made me grow. We are indispensable.” In the end, referring to the future plans, they said, “We want to plan an in-depth tour of Donghe tribe, taking everyone up to the mountain and down to the sea, eating, drinking or making handicrafts together. The main purpose is to combine the craftsmen of our tribe! Not only letting more people know Amis culture, but also creating jobs for our tribe.” It’s very exciting that in the near future, there will be more and more people experiencing the charm of Nosoon Couple’s lives. I believe they will again prove that the vision of cultural and creative work doesn't need to be restricted.