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MusicXHabitatXArt: Ant Nests—Allegory of the Cave
MusicXHabitatXArt: Ant Nests—Allegory of the Cave

Fri, Dec 08



MusicXHabitatXArt: Ant Nests—Allegory of the Cave

In this solo gallery exhibition, porcelain and mud clay "ant nests" hiding composed sound that echo throughout the space invite viewers to engage with their hidden memories and the poetic storytelling of MHA's live performance, "The Book of Sounds".

Time & Location

Dec 08, 2023, 7:00 PM – Jan 08, 2024, 8:30 PM

Highways, 1651 18th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA

About The Event

Hans Otte’s The Book of Sounds (1983) [for piano] was born from the spiritual minimalist movement, where each of its twelve movements is a sonic exploration, searching for contemplation, simplicity, and serenity, and “re-rediscovering the listener as a partner of sound and silence”. The work is an aural journey of an hour and forty minutes, and is the basis to which the collaborative MusicXHabitatXArt [Scott Lowell Sherman, Zhongjing Jiang, Yaoyue Huang] builds their “Habitat” of experimental performance (with projection, body performance, calligraphy, audience participation) linked with each of the twelve movements. In our live performance titled “MHA: The Book of Sounds” we honor the composer’s affinity with sound as an installation of architecture and light, building from Otte’s philosophical practice he explored in the performing and visual arts. MHA presents a communal “habitat” of mindfulness through the marriage of the visual and auditory, envisioning a new hybrid interdisciplinary art form, harkening back to the timeless power of communal village music-making: where every participant—whether they listen, play, or perform—is equal, both to one another and to the music itself. This is more important than ever before in a time where unspoken human connectivity is hard to find.

MHA gives two live performances of “MHA: The Book of sounds to the public (for tickets to the live performance, VISIT HERE), while also presenting a solo exhibition titled “MHA: Ant Nests—Allegory of the Cave”. This solo exhibition is a physical extension of MHA's broader work in various mediums—visualizing and retaining the scent of music and sound, combining the imagination and personal hidden memories of MHA’s three members. The combination of multi-media from digital installation, poetry, prints from digital video work, and porcelain sculpture that uses sound and music composed specifically for those works holds an important conversation with MHA’s live performance. Central to the exhibition are “ant nests” created from porcelain and mud clay, which hide composed sound that will echo throughout the space, like memories that echo throughout a cave’s walls hidden by the raging sea. We reflect and aim to explain our understanding of our transforming art practice—using an approach of multidisciplinary art and poetic storytelling that lets the viewer engage with their hidden memories.


Music X Habitat X Art was founded on the livable and breathable “habitat” created by the marriage of the visual and auditory: exploring archetypal symbolism and imagery by traversing the lines between the digital, concrete, and subconscious. We are a multi-disciplinary collective whose medium is digital video artwork, sculpture, and live performance: using installation and contemporary piano performance by merging contemporary music with digital art, deconstructive process, and poetic augmentation. Interactive visual storytelling is our method of presentation of the abstract in music and art. Our mission is to further the enjoyment and appreciation of underrepresented contemporary music post-1900.

MHA’s founders are Yaoyue Huang, Scott Lowell Sherman, and Zhongjing Jiang. Sherman and Huang are performing classical pianists based in the US, and Jiang is an exhibiting photographer, curator, poet, and lecturer based in London and Guangzhou. Sherman also works in digital video art and sculpture, Huang in Photographic Manipulation and sculpture. MHA challenges the contemplation of contemporary music through the lens of the subconscious: asking viewers to challenge preconceived notions of what music, art, and sound can be—on a journey beyond the familiar: beyond cultural or state lines. Our works are a transformed medium—an amalgamation of various processes which modulate both music and imagery through MHA’s explorative vision.

MHA is dedicated to presenting classical and contemporary music in new interdisciplinary ways to audiences, engaging them visually and aurally through communal experience of contemporary music and art. Music X Habitat X Art seeks to create new ways to experience: where the need for human connection through collective experience brings a sense of community and belonging.

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