For a while I will probably keep on posting about the great news: finally I have received the golden pear, the Sadakichi Award.
I should explain an interesting story behind this work. In the beginning of 2020 a curator from Bremen, Ingmar Lahnemann contacted me for the first time asking me to take a part in a big olfactory art exhibition he was planning. Soon after that, the COVID started. In a meanwhile I got an idea to make a new piece reflecting on the pandemic. (I don’t even remember what kind of work I was initially proposing). We were both excited shaping this new work together, but the planning got delayed and the exhibition was postponed since the pandemic was getting more serious.
The exhibition was finally opening on May 7th in 2021, on my birthday. However it had to start without any audience for a month. EU was completely closed for the international travelers too, so I had to ship the fragrances by post, but it was a nightmare. It got delayed because there were fewer international flights. And on top of that, the Japanese custom returned the package to me because the bottles were labeled “Viral Parfum” which they found very suspicious! I prepared SDS papers and then claimed them as “fragrant paints for art exhibition” in order to get them through.
It was a strange feeling having a new work opening without having witnessing it, but I was trusting the team of the City Gallery in Bremen - and indeed it was taken care very well. I managed to travel to Germany finally in August after vaccinations.
Covid changed our perspectives: everyone started to care about invisible particles floating in the air. And we are the expert on that. I do believe in olfactory art. Congratulations to all the finalists, and artists who contribute to this art form.
I am really appreciating Saskia and the IAO team for shaping this olfactory art scene and making it visible! Since the awards started I was not lonely anymore. I’m very happy to have friends all over the world sharing inspirations.
SADAKICHI AWARD FOR EXPERIMENTAL WORK WITH SCENT WINNER
Viral Parfum by Maki Ueda
Perfumer: Maki Ueda
Viral Parfum is an installation which uses six scent accords to represent the different mutations of the Coronavirus. Invisible except under blacklight, together the accords create the scent of white lily: a fragrance to mourn and honor the deaths caused by the novel coronavirus. Maki Ueda is an olfactory artist based in southern Japan.
Learn more at ueda.nl.