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Artist: Shota Yamauchi and Maki Ueda
Premier: October 7th, 2023
Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival 2023 (Kyoto Experiment)
Venue: Kyoto E9, Kyoto Japan

Festival Information Page


Shota Yamauchi & Maki Ueda, Sweaty-oily Sour-cheesy Juice, 2023. 
Photo by Yuki Moriya. Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment.


 ‘The Witch of the Black Forest lives by feeding on people's smells.

 If she eats the scent of a person, she can transform herself into that person.

The Witch's pleasure is to embrace smells.

Eat the smell

Embracing the odor.

Caress the odor.’

- When the “Smell of Love” Intertwines with the Body -

In this play, the characters are "I," "The Witch," and "The Beast of Smell. The Witch and the Beast of Smell are the products of an image created by “I”. “You” or “Smell Slave” are the audience .  

The word "stink" is not used until the very end, and it is only in the third and final chapter, "Smell Paradise," that the word "stink" is used. Here, “I” wake up from a dream. “I” turn “stink” into joy. “Stink” is a metaphor for being alive.

Atop the stage sits a device combining a glass distiller and a large water tank with thin tubes—it is a distillation machine for extracting the body odor of humans. Using the distiller, a number of performers transform body odors collected from audience members into a perfume which is then blended with various fragrances in the large water tank to create “smell juice”. The performers soak themselves in the smell juice, playing with the smell and attempting to become the “smell of love” itself. An extraordinary indescribable scent lingers in the air. As the work progresses, the scents in the theater gradually change. What smell will envelop the venue at the end?

Emerging contemporary media artist Shota Yamauchi works at the intersection of digital technology and physical expression; this new piece is his theater debut. In his 2021 Maihime, Yamauchi explored animalistic tendencies in a human’s sense of touch, depicting a pseudo-sexual encounter between a human and a virtual gorilla in virtual space. His curiosity has extended into the realm of “smell,” which is closely tied to emotion and memory, leading to a collaboration with olfactory artist Maki Ueda for this new work.

A paradise of smells is born from mixing the body odors collected from audience members and various “smells of love”. Through the performance, encounter a moment when human reason and animalistic nature intricately coexist through the sense of smell.

[Scent diffusion list]
Scene1: grass field
Scene2: ransid sweat (by the wild animal)
Scene3: blood (by the witch)
Scene4: distilled collective sweat of the Smell Slaves (audience)