Geisha's were using aphrodisiac scents as a tool for their business. Here are some cosmetics developed by Maki Ueda, to fill your imagination. They are developed manually by the artist based partly on the historical documents and partly on her imaginations.
 花の露 DEW OF FLOWER
“Geisha's love the tonic water 'DEW OF FLOWER', a distilled water made from wild rose. The top class geisha's first started to wear it around 1640, and then later it became popular also among the middle and lower classes. Those who cannot afford it make it at home following the fashion book Miyako-Fuzoku-Kewaiden (1813) that illustrates how to distill with kettle and tea cup. “
- the head of VOC -
(1) As a tonic water: spraying after washing your face will make your skin moisturised.
(2) For the finishing touch: spraying after puffing OSHIROI POWDER will make your face even more shiny.
wild rose water, clove, sandalwood, borneol
(2) ROOM OF THE HEAD OF THE DUTCH VOC
The Head of the VOC Visiting a Geisha
This is a room with the Dutch smells that Maruyama geisha's were smelling in the island Dejima.
Smell 1: coffee
‘The VOC chief factor uses to drink this black drink every morning. It smells slightly burnt to me. He says it's made of beans. I thought it might be similar to Japanese barley tea, so I tasted it. It was terribly bitter, but I managed to swallow it. I have heard that an interpreter had to vomit after he'd drunk it for the first time.’
- Maruyama geisha commenting on the smell of coffee -
Smell 2: tobacco
‘For relaxation after eating and intercourse, the VOC chief factor prefers to inhale smoke from a pipe in which some kind of leaves are burned. The smoke fills the whole room. It smells. It smells somewhat sweet, bitter, and rather smoky, as when fallen autumn leaves are being burned.’
- Maruyama geisha commenting on the smell of tobacco -
Smell 3: meat
‘On special occasions, this food is often served at dinner. I asked the VOC chief factor where it comes from and he answered, to my surprise, that it comes from the stable at Dejima. He kindly offered me a piece but I could not accept it because I was afraid to receive bad karma by eating it. By the heart of Buddha, we are not allowed to eat four- legged animals.’
- Maruyama geisha commenting on the smell of meat -
AROMASCAPE OF SINGAPORE
- olfactory representation of the city -
workshop & installation (2011)
Aromascape of Singapore consists of two parts: a workshop and an exhibition.
In May 2009 and March 2010, Ueda conducted a 3-day workshop for Aromascape of Rotterdam at Willem de Kooning Art Academy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The workshop format will be adopted for the Singapore version of the project.
What do you smell if you walk around the city of Singapore? Savoury fragrance from food stands and restaurants, green and fresh scent in a market, salty sea bleezes, or stinking garbage? Singapore has an international reputation to be the clearnest city in the world. In this project, participants are going to explore Singapore on the level of smell.
What is it that we are smelling, what does it make you imagine, what does it make you feel? This workshop will deal with these questions through a combination of lectures, hands-on workshops with fieldwork. The result of the workshop will be used for the exhibition.
Some of the smells are extracted and exhibited. Just like a perfume shop, the visitors are free to touch them, open the bottles and smell them. They are not perfumes for wearing, but for evoking your emotion and imagination.
[Relationship to Art and Education]
For Aromascape of Singapore, the relationship of the work to the theme can be seen as follows: the purpose of working with art academy sudents is to raise the awareness for their sense of smell. As these students will be in their late teens or early 20s, they have the maximum physical capability of smelling, because as you get old you can smell less. They still have the clear memories from their youth that are attached very much to smell. It's the perfect mement for them to learn about smell and totally different dimensions will open up in front of them.
More documentations regarding the workshop
NO. 1: IXORA FLOWERS (AMARYLLIS SEAH HSUEH TING)
NO. 2: SUGARCANE (BRENDAN POH KAI JIE)
NO. 3: CHEESEBURGER (NG YI HUI MARY ANN)
NO. 4: NEWSPAPER (KANAKO FURUKAWA)
NO. 5: CEMENT (ORANJE)
NO. 6: RICE (AMARYLLIS SEAH HSUEH TING)
NO. 7: INDIAN INCENSE (SHERYL LAW)
NO. 8: BAK KUT TEH (HO BAOXIN)
NO. 9: BARBECUE (MACK ZHI FANG WENDY)
NO.10: CHAR KWAY TEOW (DEVA RAJ)
NO.11: COFFEE (YU DANYA)
NO.12: TAIWAN SAUSAGE (CHUA TIAN LI)
NO.13: GARAM CIGARETTES (HEMA LATA D/O VEERAMOHAN)
5- 16 January 2011 (Mon-Sun 10am - 7pm Fri 10am - 9pm)
Glass Porch, Level 2, Singapore Art Museum
World Premie (Supported by Singapore Art Museum)
as a part of: Fringe Festival @ Singapore
relating workshop: 29 - 30 Dec 2010, 11am - 2pm at Singapore Art Museum
FIND THE SCENT OF TULIPS
(OR FIND CONFUSION...)
permanent installation at Amsterdam Tulip Museum (2012)
Put your head in these tulips. You will notice they smell of various bulbous flowers: Tulip, Hyacinth and Narcissus (Daffodil). But which one carries the actual scent of tulips?
Ordered by: Amsterdam Tulip Museum
Concept: Maki Ueda
Realization: Nezu Aymo Architect
Special thanks to Omega Ingredients (www.omegaingredients.co.uk)
THE JUICE OF WAR
for “The Smell of War” exhibition
The photos were so shocking to me that for nights I was afraid to go to sleep. But I did not dare ask my mother to remove that book from my bedroom because it seemed rude to the victims. As I grew up I peeked into the book again and again, out of curiosity for the atomic bombings, and I realized that I was getting better in dealing with the fear. I ended up sleeping with that book until I left home at the age of 17.
Please put your head in a bowl. This smell was manually extracted from the juice of burned and rotten flesh.
Curated by: Peter de Coupere
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