Solo Exhibition


Miya Masaoka

Video still of Miya Masaoka. Adventures of the Solitary Bee, video work, 2000

Thu to Sun 14:00 – 19:00
Mon, Tue, Wed closed

Free admission

Presented as the 8th collaboration between SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik Festival, REFUGE IN THE VEGETAL WORLD is a solo exhibition and activation series featuring composer, sound artist, musician Miya Masaoka.


17 March 2024, 14:00
with an opening performance, 15:00


Programme booklet Topographies of Hearing

“Such a co-existence with vegetal beings – I could almost say: this vegetal existence – keeps me alive and secretly goes with my words. In other words: can I still return among humans, and through what path?”
– Luce Irigaray

The project takes cues from the seminal work “Through Vegetal Being. Two Philosophical Perspectives“, co-authored by Luce Irigaray, and highlights Miya Masaoka’s lifelong body of work, dissecting the significance of vegetal lives, and exploring the myriad possibilities of collaboration between humans and more-than-human entities. Be it an installation, live performance or composition, the context in which each work exists and is presented is central to the artist’s exploration. Thinking beyond the anthropocentric viewpoint that rigidly distinguishes between humans and the so called “non”-humans, the works presented in this exhibition are continual endeavors to re-contextualize the perceived passivity and objectification of plants, animals and instruments as well.

The exhibition delves into Masaoka's multifaceted approach to sound and her profound connection to natural beings. Thus, Masaoka manifests as a shape-shifter, seamlessly transitioning between roles such as composer, performer, sound maker, and facilitator. Her identity undergoes a continuous metamorphosis from one piece to the next. Her body transforms into a living canvas where bees congregate and rest, where hands serve as vessels for translating sounds derived from the energies released by plants. Masaoka taps into the direct energy of plants, aligning with the lineage of deity spirits like the Kamui or Inau from Ainu mythology. These plants hold a vital significance, a crucial role on the stage during performances in Japanese tradition. In her sonic pieces more-than-human beings are active collaborators and essential components of a rich sonic tapestry. Masaoka invokes her alter persona, Hiko Hiko, echoing the lineage of female shamans, acting as a conduit that connects with the divine. She follows the path of water through human-made constructions such as fountains and pipes, reverberating its sonic footprint in a variety of ways.

The exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary will be accompanied by performative and sonic activations throughout and after the festival both within our physical space and on radio. The exhibition will open with a performance by Miya Masaoka, embodying her pseudo persona, Hiko Hiko. In the following weeks, “Cubistics”, a three-dimensional score, will be performed by string players. Additionally, we are expanding our reach to the waves of SAVVY Contemporary’s radio platform, SAVVYZΛΛR, where Masaoka's composition, “For Birds, Planes, and Cello,” will be featured.

This programme is a part of “Topographies of Hearing” series at MaerzMusik 2024 edition.

List of Works

1. “Lingering”, sound installation, 2024
2. “The Earth Codes”, mixed media sound installation, 2024
3. “Cubistics”, mixed media installation, 2019
4. “Adventures of the Solitary Bee”, video, 2000
5. “Monumenta Ethereal”, mixed media installation, 2024
6. “My Life as a Plant”, mixed media installation, 2019
7. “Plant People in Forest”, multi-channel video work, 2021
8. “Plumbing Noises and Their Causes”, mixed media installation, 2024
9. “Natural Signs”, sound installation, 2024



21.3.2024, 16:00
Guided Tour in English
with Miya Masaoka

23.3.2024, 16:00
Guided Tour in English
with Lili Somogyi

28.3.2024, 18:00
Guided Tour in Hungarian
with Lili Somogyi

12.4.2024, 18:00
Guided Tour in German
with Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock


17.3.2023, 15:00
Opening Performance of “Anamnesis”
with Miya Masaoka

23.3.2024, 17:00
Performance of “Cubistics”  
with Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu and James Banner

14.4.2024, 17:00
Performance of “Cubistics”
with Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu and Biliana Voutchkova


Miya Masaoka: “For Birds, Planes and Cello”

Interview with Miya Masaoka

7.4.2024, 16:00  
“KUPFERGARTEN”: A conversation between Christina Kubisch and Antonia Alampi

To tune in to SAVVYZAAR, visit or listen to the radio station on 88.4 FM in Berlin and 90.7 FM in Potsdam.


Miya Masaoka


Renan Laru-an – Artistic Direction 
Billy Fowo, Lili SomogyiCuration
Billy FowoProduction
Lynhan Balatbat-HelbockOnur ÇimenProject Management    
Lema SikodManagement
Anna JägerCommunication