Photography by Nynno Bel-air

Interview by Shin Holmes

"My name is Anya. I’m Russian Japanese, I’ve lived both in Russia and Japan before moving to France. And now I’m back to Tokyo again. I don’t necessarily have a hometown, but I guess my heart will always lie in Europe."

anya 3.jpg

" I’m not an artist just because i draw things and sing things. I’m not spending enough time on art to be able to pretend that I am an artist. And I really don’t get along with people who pompously declare that they’re ARTISTS. Dude I see it, no need to push your artistry onto the world haha. But yeah, I really need to make time for art though."

" I’m interested in meditation. I’ve been wanting to go on a Vipassana retreat in Kyoto. It’s basically 10 days of hard-core silent meditation. No machinery, no music, no exercise, it’s just you and your mind. It’s fucking terrifying hahah. Just imagine being confronted with your worst enemy for 10 whole days. But it's an important life-altering experience. My friends who have gone through it have said that it they’ve come out better, more balanced. And I want to be better."

"I don’t know. I feel like it’s important to learn about every single religion. I feel like all the major belief systems come down to the same few principles. The religious scriptures are fundamentally the same and deal with the same things. Seriously, try to see what the Bible, the Quran and the Torah, for example, have in common instead of what differs them. We’re not all that different from each other. "

"I think it’s very important to question every single thing that you see, that you hear. We don't do it enough. People just accept things for what they appear to be or for what they pose as. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. We must be curious about what’s beyond the surface. I’m not saying you have to be a bitter sceptical angry asshole all the time hahah. Just that…I believe that the day we all start questioning the morality of your own actions, things would change drastically for the better. "

"For now, I am just a simple-minded soul, striving to be smarter, kinder, freer and better."