Natsukashii-Doft minnen/Doften i minnet

Artists: Nathan Cohen (UK), Åsa Herrgård (SE), Hiroshi Koyama (SE), Reiko Kubota (UK), Yasuaki Matsumoto (JP), Carmen Olsson (SE), Boris Raux(FR), Akemi Takata (SE) Takumi Tsukahara (JP) Curated by Yoko Iwasaki

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In this exhibition artworks are presented that evoke memories through smell. Odour and memory are deeply connected. Although olfactory art may not be so familiar, the combination of smell and forms created by artistic means can enable recollection of memories of events that took place in the past and those with whom we have nostalgic associations.

For this exhibition at Wanås Konst, Swedish, British, French and Japanese artists approach olfactory art in various ways. The odours associated with nostalgic feelings may differ depending on where you come from and the culture in which you grew up. Some of these artworks use actual odorants while other artworks suggest a sense of smell and memory evoked without the use of odorants. As a whole the exhibition presents a variety of forms in which olfactory art can be experienced. 


This exhibition is part of a research programme aimed at improving the quality of life for the elderly who live in nursing homes. The participating artists are pursuing this research through the use of smell and art. The research programme commenced in Japan in 2016 and includes international participants resulting in exhibitions in Kyoto and Paris in 2017.

The exhibition in Sweden continues to develop this research, including an audience survey together with research conducted with local nursing homes. As with previous exhibitions artwork is presented that is inclusive of all age groups, and also incorporates user interactive artworks, performances and workshops, further encouraging audience participation in the show. The exhibition is a unique event that fills Wanås Konst with a variety of fragrance, seeking to awaken old memories anThe following is an account of the work of the participating artists from Sweden. The description of the artworks in this exhibition by the artists who have been participating in the research project since 2016 (Boris Raux, Yasuaki Matsumoto, Nathan Cohen and Reiko Kubota, Yoko Iwasaki and Takumi Tsukahara) are included separately on the Natsukashii Doftminnen research page.

Hiroshi Koyama

Tidens doft-I (The Scent/Smell of Time)

Through my sculpture I seek to make the invisible accumulated time visible. There is a Japanese word SABI that, in an aesthetic sense, means that time creates a patina on the surface of material. SABI means that the time which flows in the material enhances its beauty. I would suggest then that perhaps the 'smell' of SABI might be the smell of time.


When rock salt, which is many millions of years old, is ground by a stone mill its smell is released and flows. It is gathered by human hand and forms a mountain to shape a landscape.

Tidens doft-II

What I see in stone is an accumulation of time formed billions of years ago and continuing until today.

Sweeping together warm ashes of white birch from the stove last night I put a fragment of aromatic wood upon it. The smell of ashes in daily life and Natsukashisa-Nostalgia from the smell of aromatic trees readily connect my memories of two places, Japan and Sweden, beyond time and space.

In my artwork fragments of aromatic wood are placed upon warmed ashes in a hole carved in the black stone sculpture. When you look into the hole the smell should evoke your own memories/associations. This is a Black hole or a tunnel to the past. 

Akemi Tanaka

The Memorized Scent

Scents that become attached to one’s memory like a sticky burr are stowed away in a 'memory box'.


Even if there is no actual smell or if we have lost our olfactory powers, when a memory is revived by something visual, auditory or tactile, a specific smell may be recalled. A scent can also stimulate a dormant memory within the 'memory box' awakening it subliminally.


In my artwork as you step on fallen leaves you draw closer to an inner box. The act of opening this small box is intended to evoke memories of nostalgic landscapes within each of us, recollections revived by a scent remembered.

Åsa Herrgård: Memories of scent.

Åsa Herrgård: Memories of scent.

Åsa Herrgård, Carmen Olsson


Scenography - Åsa Herrgård
Dance & choreography - Carmen Olsson
Music - Harald Svensson

Do you remember the fragrance? It takes you back to memories and leads through transparent layers into the unknown.

A journey of fragrance, to where does it lead? Traces of scents, backwards and forwards.

Carmen Olsson: performing Dare we Close our Eyes

Carmen Olsson: performing Dare we Close our Eyes

Åsa Herrgård: Memories of scent. 'Just the dark forest and the clear sky know my memory of your scent.' Jesmonite and plaster 35-40 cm

Åsa Herrgård: Memories of scent. 'Just the dark forest and the clear sky know my memory of your scent.' Jesmonite and plaster 35-40 cm

Through what has been, what is, and what we still do not know the smell of. In longing, vulnerability, intimacy, missing and wonder, who is this sensitive and vulnerable human being when she closes her eyes?

Carmen Olsson: performing Dare we Close our Eyes - duration 30 minutes

Carmen Olsson: performing Dare we Close our Eyes - duration 30 minutes

Personal memories of fragrance connect inner and outer worlds and take shape in a performance of dance, scenography and music.

Some of the participants at the Wanås Konst

Some of the participants at the Wanås Konst

This exhibition is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 25560018, The Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation , and The Swedish Arts Grants Committee.