Aya Momose
“Performing Acupuncture”

  • Therapy Performance
What does the body desire or imagine when invaded by the foreign object of acupuncture needles?
Aya Momose delivers a tactile therapy performance in which our own bodies provide a stage for the unknown.

Artist Aya Momose uses various methods, including film and performance, to approach ideas around gaze and desire, sexuality and gender, body and performance. Underlying her work is an acute awareness of the societal norms and invisible structures of oppression that lurk behind tension and turmoil when people or beings touch, desire, or fail to understand each other.
For TCT’21, Momose creates a new performance piece that incorporates acupuncture treatment. Based on traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves inserting thin foreign objects (needles) into the body, stimulating it and circulating their effects throughout. Momose adds tactile and aural mechanisms to this process to produce new sensations and images inside the audience’s bodies.
With the pandemic rendering touch a taboo, her therapy/performance series dares to make contact via the foreign object of acupuncture needles. Traversing the uncrossable lines between the conscious and unconscious, pain and pleasure, treatment and carnality, they promise to bring us a thrilling experience.


Aya Momose
Born in Tokyo, 1988. Artist. Using video as a method to record the performance, Momose attempts to rethink the imbalance between camera operator and subject in her work. In recent years she has held solo exhibition “Voice Samples” (Art Gallery 1, Yokohama Museum of Art, 2014) and has participated in following group exhibitions: “Sensou-Ga Studies” (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum B-Gallery, 2015), “Artist File 2015 Next Doors: Contemporary Art in Japan and Korea” (The National Art Center, 2015-16), “Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice” (Mori Art Museum, 2016). In 2020 Momose held a solo exhibition “I.C.A.N.S.E.E.Y.O.U” and co-produced “New Crystal Palace” exhibition with artist Mai Endo. She is also expanding her inquiry into the field of gender and sexuality.


March 6th [Sat]
March 7th [Sun]
March 8th [Mon]
March 9th [Tue]
March 10th [Wed]

★ is a women-only session (only those identify as female can participate).

Performance times

approx. 60 min.


– In this performance, you will be asked to expose your arms, knees, and abdomen (below the chest), and lie down on a bed to receive acupuncture treatment. The beds will have a sufficient space between them.
– To ensure easier participation, we will hold women-only sessions.
– The gender of the acupuncturist cannot be selected.


3-15-4 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023

How to Participate

Booking essential. Show general admission pass on entry.
*An additional treatment fee of 3,000 yen will be charged upon registration.
– Number of places: 6

Buy Pass




Concept and Direction | Aya Momose
Acupuncturist | Erina Ishigami, Ayano Kuze, Taichi Sato, Mizuho Nakajima, Yosuke Hasegawa, Yuki Higa, Taro Matsunami, Ayame Wada
Narration | Miuko Hagiwara
Production | Theater Commons Tokyo