installation (2005)


[Premier] 28 May 2005

[Location] NIKA Coffee and Tea, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

[Exhibition Name] Kunstroute Noord

[Organizer] Business as Usual




- a blind-date event for the other senses inspired by The Tale of Genji -


participatory installation for the other senses






Once upon a time, a man fell in love with a woman just by sensing her atomosphere behind bamboo curtains.  He used all the other senses than the sight just to synthesize the whole vision of her as a person. Subtle information as the scent of incense and her silk kimono carried by the wind, and the friction sound of her touch, was already enough for him to fall in love with her.

Back then in Japan, women were not allowed themselves to be exposed to public.  She was kept behind curtains her entire life, not even allowed to give a word to a man that she liked. The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature in the early years of the 11th century that illustrates such unique depiction of the lifestyles of high courtiers during the Heian period. 

This event started from a question: "Can we also fall in love like that?"  

Modern communication is a lot thru by the sight so sex appeal is often made visually.  But in this event, the dating setup simulates the world of this novel, in the context of olfactory art.





- Waiting rooms are completely isolated visually, but sound-wise not (Japanese room is often made with paper)

- A man prepares a haiku poem related to the season and seasonal flowers. A woman gives permission to meet him if she likes it.

- They meet behind the curtains for 10 min.  The man may speak a word but the woman not. Her maid intermediates instead.



  “I experienced re-construction of the senses.  When you have the sights, scent is just  simple additional information.  But in this setup, when imagination becomes delution, you lose control. I was in total confusion: Any tiny information becomes sex appeal.”


M to F sex appeal examples:

-smell (perfumed on hair and kimono)

-letter (poem, calligraphy, flowers, scent on paper)


-play music

-the subtle sound of silk clothes and tabi socks



F to M sex appeal examples:


-smell (perfumed on hair and kimono)

-letter (poem, calligraphy, flowers, scent on paper)

-words carried by the maid

-the subtle sound of silk clothes and tabi socks



Kyoto Love Story

Les cheveux noirs et la madeleine (Black tresses and the madeleine) Exhibition

Premier: Kyoto Art Center (, 19 Dec 2015

Surpported by: Kyoto Saga Art University(

Curated by: Prof. Yoko Iwasaki

Concept: Maki Ueda




Collaboration with: Daikichi Yoshida

on: June 16, 2015

at: Uplink Shibuya, Tokyo










【日時】6/16(火) 19:00 open / 19:30 start
    東京都渋谷区宇田川町37-18 トツネビル1階
【出演】Yoshida Daikiti (スルバハール)
    MAKI UEDA (嗅覚アーティスト)
【料金】予約:2,500円 / 当日:3,000円 *共に+1ドリンク500円

◆ ヨシダダイキチ:


◆ ウエダマキ:


Maki Ueda started her olfactory art course Smell and Art in 2009 at the ArtScience Interfaculty. In the course students learn a conceptual and abstract approach to the medium of smell. The use of smell goes beyond the representational use and focuses on its qualities and experience without a need for a narrative or context. The students are challenged to develop olfactory games using this approach. Furthermore, they learn chemical skills by extracting and composing smells to support their creations. The game format challenges our imagination: while we always have limited fragrance materials, we never stop thinking of new games. The Japanese traditional olfactory game Kodo is a good example of this.

course conception: Maki Ueda 
course given at: ArtScience Interfaculty of the Royal Academy of Art and Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, The Netherlands

hours: 36 to 48 hours

course website:


 The course includes:

  1. Kodo workshop / The Smell of Tale of Genji workshop 
  2. Extraction workshop
  3. Incense making workshop 
  4. Perfumery Basics workshop (+- 100 natural / synthetic materials, composition of the smell of rose)




Smell and Art 

teacher: Maki Ueda 

What is it that we are smelling, what does it make you imagine, what does it make you feel? Could we incorporate the olfactory sense in art? Could smell be a medium carrying information? This course will deal with these questions through a combination of lectures, workshops, intermediate presentations and a final presentation. In this course we will start with looking at examples of art and the olfactory sense, then we will discuss the potential of the olfactory sense in art. The workshops will first focus on fieldwork and on observing the environment with the olfactory sense. You will smell a lot and learn how to communicate about smell with others, using a basic vocabulary for analyzing and expressing the character of a smell. Secondly we will extract smells from raw materials like soup, cheese burgers, old books, rubber tyres, flowers, and smelly T-shirts. You will learn how to do this yourself and how to compose new smells (in the most simple way).

You're expected to develop an olfactory game as a final assignment.

Website of the 2010 version:

DAY 1: Tue, October 1
- orientation / introducing each other
- on smelling: walk n' sniff / sniffing spaces like a dog
- on assignment: examples from the past year

DAY 2: Thu, October 3
- on infusing: extraction workshop
- on diffusing: air, wind, temperature, humidity experiments

DAY 3: Tue, October 8
- on incense: incense making workshop
- brainstorming on assignment

DAY 4: Thu, October 10
whole day: work on assignment

DAY 5: Tue, October 15
whole day: work on assignment

DAY 6: Thu, October 17
- final presentation
- for fun: Kohdo, a Japanese olfactory game