Huang Ruo describes how his collaboration with Christina Mamakos came about: "Christina videotaped the ocean, with a simple hand-held waterproof digital camera, suggesting the surface of the sea from below… When one walks into the space, the experience of what it means to be in the water will become a different concept. The view of the ocean from bottom to top, the change of perspective and sound that will come from 4 loudspeakers in the corner of the room, will create an effect beyond reality, an abstract sense of being in the ocean - not in front or opposite the artwork - but within."
Christina Mamakos defines Huang Ruo’s 'dimensionalism' technique as follows: "Using an inventive musical voice which draws equal inspiration from Chinese folk, western avant-garde, rock and jazz, Ruo creates a seamless series of musical works that do not necessarily exist in the sound world of our daily life… This visual/sound installation constructs a multi-dimensional space where images and sound flow from one another in response to one another, evoking a character that is at once recognizable as an element of nature, and still an unknown, yet unambiguous creature with a voice, a language and a will."
In 2003, when Columbia University’s Miller Theater featured Ruo as part of the Composer Portraits series, Huang Ruo gained the approval of New York Times critic Alan Kozinn, who placed the performance of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with Huang Ruo conducting the premiere of his four chamber concerto cycle second on his list of “Top Ten Classical Moments of 2003.”
Talking about Ruo’s “Four Fragments” for unamplified violin, Kozinn, who keeps a close watch on Ruo’s artistic development, describes the relationship between East and West in Ruo’s music: "As in many of his scores, Chinese articulation styles – sliding notes and gracefully bending tones – mingle freely with Western moves and diatonic harmonies."
Chinese elements are sometimes thematically incorporated, as in his composition for soprano or Chinese folk voice and chamber orchestra, “Leaving Sao”, which Anthony Tommasini reviewed for the New York Times: "Huang Ruo’s fascinating 'Leaving Sao' for vocalist and orchestra, a 2004 memorial work for the composer’s grandmother, was an alluring patchwork of Asian folk melodies and pungent, Western classical elements. Mr. Huang was the affecting soloist, singing in a high-pitched, quasi-wailing Chinese folk style."