Skip to main content

Taiwanese artist, Wang Ya Hui’s work, Scent: Rice Field in the MandaLa Lab, Rubin Museum of Art

  • Date:2021-12-02

Embedded in a rock-like form at each of six stations are scents selected by six artists and created for the installation by master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Visitors can activate a scent at one of the stations and record their reactions to it. The discovery continues as visitors view a two-minute narrative video created by the artist about their memory attached to this scent. This, along with reading previous visitors’ memories of the same smell, allows the visitor to perceive how diverse (and sometimes radically different) those brought up under different conditions can perceive the same stimulus.

Wang Yahui’s (王雅慧) narrative video artwork, Scent: Rice Field describes her experience moving to a rural area after college, where the smell of rice fields imbued her with a sense of calm and mental clarity and subsequently impacted her art practice. Her abstract, poetic juxtaposition of words and moving shapes in the video creates a contemplative moment for guests and opens the door to awareness of attachment and the presence of others.

The intention behind Mandala Lab is to make insights for navigating difficult circumstances and emotions available to visitors of all ages through a combination of artworks, cognitive science, and contemplative practice. When reviewed in the New York Times, The Rubin’s Chief Programmatic Officer and Deputy Executive Director, Tim McHenry, described the space and its installations as “visual tool kits for navigating and surviving in uncertain times”.

Wang Yahui’s works include videos, installations, and photographs. She has exhibited or screened her work in international film festivals and biennials, including the Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2002), Shanghai Biennale (2006), International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008, the Hors Pistes Film Festival at the Centre Pompidou (2008) and Taipei Biennale (2010). She participated most recently in the exhibition Finding Time, held at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taipei in 2020.

The Rubin Museum of Art officially opened on October 2, 2004 and is a museum dedicated to the collection, display, and preservation of the art and cultures of the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and other regions within Eurasia, with a permanent collection focused particularly on Tibetan art. The New York Times commends it, “one of the biggest thinking small museums in Manhattan”.

Mandala Lab
October 1, 2021-October 1, 2031
The Rubin Museum of Art,
150 West 17th St. New York, NY 10011
Thursday: 10:00 AM–11:00 AM senior and high risk hours
                11:00 AM–5:00 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM–10:00 PM
Saturday-Sunday:11:00 AM–5:00 PM