Solo Exhibition "Olfactory Labyrinth"

Solo Exhibition "Olfactory Labyrinth"

Kiyosu Haruhi Museum of Art
(Two stops from Nagoya station)

Sponsored by: Yamamoto Perfumery

Oopening: October 12th, 2019

Exhibition continues untill:  December 8th, 2019


Olfactory Art Evolves— Susan Stone, The Monocle Arts Review — 26 May 2017

From a radio program:

Olfactory Art Evolves— Susan Stone 

Olfactory Art is becoming more, shall we say, visible. There’s Hugo Boss prize-winner Anicka Yi's “Life is Cheap,” currently at the Guggenheim in New York, which integrates smell into complex conceptual installations. Or Peter de Cupere's “Smoke Flowers,” a site-specific work that ran the opening week of the Venice Biennale. This art isn’t perfume, though per- fumers may create it. As the discipline develops, questions about com- position, categorization, and collection arise. Susan Stone met some in the olfactory art world who are working on the answers.

<AO: My name is Ashraf Osman, and I’m an olfactory art curator. (:04)>

Only a handful of people in the world share that designation with Zurich- based Ashraf Osman. Olfactory art still has a bit of a stigma, he says, al- though it’s not as new as we think. The first all-olfactive exhibitions were in 2008, although elements of it can be found in the work of Damien Hirst, and Joseph Beuys, and long before that.

<AO: The historical origin of both movements, of conceptual art and ol- factory art are tied. They both go back to Marcel Duchamp who made it kind of problematic for every one in the art world to discuss these issues. He’s someone who took a urinal and flipped it on its back and said this is art. So after that it was a matter of intentionality (:22)>

Duchamp also created scented installations in 1938, and 1959. With this rich history, why is olfactory art dismissed?

<AO: Art that is highly regarded is quite political. And there is a miscon- ception that olfactory art cannot be political. That assumption comes from its association with perfume. (:11)>

<Sound of tin, packaging>

Artist Maki Ueda opens a small tin holding an even smaller jar. Inside is one of her latest artworks.

<MU: “So we start from The Juice of War.”>

She dips in a paper smelling strip, and grim smell of decay fills the room. Ueda created “The Juice of War: Hiroshima and Nagasaki” for the 2015 exhibition The Smell of War, curated by Peter de Cupere.

<OPTIONAL AMBI POST: MU “Don’t worry, I diluted it.” (nb - you can use the ambi just after this comment to run under the above graph - I al- ready copied and pasted it in the file>

To evoke the post-atomic-bomb-horror of burnt and decaying bodies, Ueda used meat to create this powerful scent. Fermenting, extracting, and distilling, as she has with almost all the work she’s made since she started in the discipline in 2005. What was then unknown territory now attracts a crowd:

<MU: “They are ready to smell. Smelling is a very scary thing. You take molecules into your body. People who came to a visual art exhibition, they wouldn’t expect to be forced to smell. So at the beginning, it was really hard.”(:17)>

Ueda’s works are striking and moving, but also unstable, unrepeatable, unsellable, and un-collectable. Even when bottled and refrigerated, these extracts only retain their original character for about six months, she says.

Olfactory art pioneers like Ueda tended to compose their own scents. Newer artists are now turning to perfumers with industry experience, like Andreas Wilhelm. Amongst other projects, he created the scents for Shirin Yousefi’s “The Tales of the Cortex,” shown this spring at Kun- sthalle Zurich.

<AW: “Of course if I work with an artist they don’t really have an idea about perfume. They have an idea, like ‘I want to have a firework in a classroom, and it smells a bit soulful,” and then I try to put this in a bot- tle. Of course I am following cosmetic regulation, so not everything is possible.” (:20)>

Wilhelm’s fragrances have registered formulas. They can be replicated, monetized, and ultimately, collected.

<SWB: “When you work with someone like Andreas, you get better work, frankly. But when you work with someone like us, you can kind of just do your own thing. “(:06)>

Saskia Wilson-Brown is the founder of the Los Angeles-based Institute for Art & Olfaction, which fosters creative work in scent, and also gives awards for it — to both perfumers and artists.

<SWB: What we try to do is we try to empower the creative person who wants to work with scent to it to do it themselves. To come in and tinker. More often than not we end up helping quite a bit.(:17)>

Wilson-Brown is expanding her mission. She held this year’s Art & Olfac- tion awards in Berlin, and plans to open a branch of her institute here. The hope is to both encourage more artists, and to further a general un- derstanding about smell.

<SWB:“If I’m making a piece about, let’s say, religion, and I’m using frankincense, myrrh, musk, and rose to talk about Islam and Christianity — pfft — most people won’t be able to pick them apart or know the cul- tural context or what they mean. So conceptual understanding is three steps removed. That’s the biggest challenge with olfactory art.”:18) >

Olfactory art continues to become better known, better exhibited, and more multidisciplinary. Still, scent remains the most mysterious of our senses; it’s likely its art world corollary will also long be misunderstood.

For Monocle in Berlin, I’m Susan Stone


Tangible Scents - Composition of Rose in the Air - has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Sadakichi Award


April 25, 2019

Tangible Scents - Composition of Rose in the Air - has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Sadakichi Award for Experimental Work with Scent, at the 6th annual Art and Olfaction Awards. 

Judged by an international pool of curators, designers, theorists and artists, Tangible Scents - Composition of Rose in the Air - is one of five total finalists in this category.

Awarded to just four perfumes, one experimental scent project and three discretionary awards a year,The Art and Olfaction Awards are designed to raise public interest and awareness around new developments in independent perfumery. The Awards, established in 2014 by the Institute for Art and Olfaction, are given to outstanding creators in the categories of independent, artisan, and experimental perfume from across the globe, chosen for perfumes and experimental projects with scent released in 2018. 

The sixth annual Art and Olfaction Awards events will take place in a public ceremony at Oude Kerk on May 2, 2019. Oude Kerk is a historic church founded in 1213, and the city’s oldest building. Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light district, the space is now one of Amsterdam’s most prestigious cultural centers.  

Each Art and Olfaction Award winner will receive The Golden Pear, which continues to cement its status as a prestigious achievement in the perfume world.

As with past years, our panel of esteemed judges includes luminaries from the perfume and art worlds. Some of the members of the Art and Olfaction Awards 2018 jury include: Daniel Patterson (USA), Harold McGee (USA), Mandy Aftel (USA), Anna Gerber (England), Arabelle Sicardi (USA), Claire Evans (USA), Darin Klein (USA), Deji Bryce Olukotun (USA), Simon Niedenthal (Sweden), Dave Apel (USA), Denyse Beaulieu (France), Eddie Bulliqi (England), Jeanne Doré (France), Katie Puckrik (England), Chris Gordon (USA), Hank Jenkins (USA), Marta Siembab (Poland), Matthias Janke (Germany), Spyros Drosopoulos (Netherlands), Ulrike Knöll (Germany), Andy Tauer (Switzerland), Bibiana Prival (USA), Frederic Jacques (USA/France), Harald Lubner (Germany), Mark Behnke (USA), Rachel Syme (USA)

About the Project
Tangible Scents - Composition of Rose in the Air - is an open-air installation which uses Maki Ueda's original method of “de-and re-construction in the air” to decode on the scent of rose. The five major components of the this scent are individually infused into vats of soap, which will each be poured into five different bubble machines. You can deconstruct rose into its component  scents by poking the bubbles, or immerse yourself in the total scent. (curator: Aersen Lease, artistic director for the Reed Arts Week Festival 2018)

Olfactory artist Maki Ueda (JP/NL) considers smell a ‘new media’. In her practice, she minimizes the influence of other senses in order to center the spectator’s attention on her fragrant gestures. In addition to her own creative work, she has also taught a course on olfactory art at the ArtScience Interfaculty of The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (NL) since 2009. While Ueda is currently based in Okinawa, Japan, she works all over the world.

The Art and Olfaction Awards was founded in 2012 as an independent awards mechanism designed to celebrate innovation and excellence in artisan and independent perfume, and experimentation in scent within arts practices. The Art and Olfaction Awards are a program of The Institute for Art and Olfaction, a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Los Angeles, CA.

Presenting partner: IFF 
Partners: Lucky Scent / Scent Bar, Pochpac, Perfumer’s Apprentice, Discount Vials, Esxence Scent of Excellence, Nez – La Revue Olfactive, Scent Culture Institute and Autumn Seventy Design Studio.

The Institute for Art and Olfaction is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Los Angeles, CA. The Institute for Art and Olfaction advances public and artistic engagement with scent. We do this by initiating and supporting arts projects that utilize the medium of scent, by providing accessible and affordable education in our experimental laboratory as well as in partnership with institutions and community groups, and by celebrating excellence in independent and artisan perfumery through our yearly award mechanism, The Art and Olfaction Awards. Through these efforts, we extend the world of scent beyond its traditional boundaries of appreciation and use.

For press inquiries please contact:
Maxwell Williams, Press and Communications Officer

maxwell@artandolfaction.com - 213-271-6145