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Touch Designer | Stable Diffusion | Raw material odour extraction

Interaction Design | Scent Installation | Human-AI Cooperation | Artificial Intelligence Generated Art | Experience Design

23/04/2023 - 10/06/2023

Individual project

The Boiling Ocean

Scent Ritual Installation - Memory Tea Bags

The Boiling Ocean is a unique memorial and funeral ceremony created by the scent interactive artist, Yuqing Liu, in the United Kingdom for her grandfather. This innovative project uses the medium of scent to trigger memories and emotions associated with the past. Presented at the Koppel X Gallery in London from June 8 to 11, 2023, this exhibition not only served as a personal tribute to the artist's grandfather but also as an exploration of the power of scent and memory.

Art direction - Yuqing Liu

Interaction Design - Yuqing Liu

Scent extraction- Yuqing Liu

Video editing - Yuqing Liu

Photography- Yuqing Liu



"The Boiling Ocean" was born from artist Yuqing Liu's desire to reconnect with her Alzheimer's-affected grandfather through scent, especially during the painful absence forced by the pandemic. This led her to collect and transform the smells of shared moments, like a rainy summer afternoon, into 'memory tea bags,' a tribute to her grandfather's love for tea. This poignant gesture encapsulates Liu's deeply personal journey of memory, loss, and honoring loved ones.

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The installation consists of twelve different memory tea bags, each representing a distinct memory. These tea bags are boiled in a distillation teapot apparatus, causing the scents to transition from solid to liquid, and then to vapor, filling the space and evoking memories and emotions associated with those moments. This process is a departure from the traditional use of fire in ancestral ceremonies, as the artist feels that the act of boiling water more closely aligns with the deep, yet intensifying, emotions felt for a loved one over time.


Visitors interact with the artwork by selecting a memory tea bag from the display area and placing it in the teapot to boil. As the scent diffuses into the air, digital particles on the device gradually rise and slowly piece together images associated with the memory tea bag, recreating scenes shared with her grandfather. This immersive experience allows the audience to actively participate in the remembrance process, while also contemplating their own memories and relationships.


"The Boiling Ocean" transcends traditional ancestral ceremonies, with the boiling water symbolizing deep, evolving emotions over time. It invites audience participation, offering a space for contemplation of personal memories and relationships. The exhibition has sparked meaningful connections and discussions, reflecting the profound impact of scent on memory and emotion.


As a scent artist, Liu is committed to exploring and expanding the boundaries of olfactory art. She envisions further developing this concept, integrating AI technology to create more immersive, scent-driven virtual experiences, allowing audiences to engage with scent memories in novel ways.

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