An installation performance is going to meet an interactive audience in Queens.

Chinese multidisciplinary artist XiaoChuan Xie will present the world premiere of “SHED” at Queens Botanical Garden on Friday, July 20. The doors will open at 8:30 p.m., and a reception will follow the show.

Using costumes, dance, light, and sculpture, this roughly one-hour piece will unfold near the outdoor terrace. Chuan, whose full name is pronounced “shee-OU Choo-AH SHEE-eh,” and other artists will maneuver within tetrahedrons, causing UV-sensitive layers beneath their plaster surfaces to emerge. As they do their thing, their movement will crack the sculptures, revealing a glowing interior.

Chuan, who currently lives in Queens, hopes “SHED” will create a dialogue on the collective immigrant experience. Just like the light in the tetrahedrons, many immigrants’ identities are often hidden to onlookers, she argued.

Along this theme, she chose Queens Botanical Garden as the site because she considers it a hidden gem.

“We want the audience to experience the progression of getting to know the truth underneath and the multilayered human spirit,” she conveyed in a written statement. “If our country is a melting pot, it is a colorful one; we must celebrate our differences, and embrace the complexity of our cultural skin.”

The event is free, but registration is required. Queens Botanical Garden is at 43-50 Main St. in Flushing.

The “SHED” team includes the following.

  • Movement: Chuan, Martha Graham Dance Company alum Lauren Newman, and Bernik Ensemble founder Nikola Sampson;
  • Sculpture: Kyle Dietrich and Broderick Shoemaker;
  • Lighting: Yi-Chung Chen, a native of Taiwan who is currently a resident lighting designer at Martha Graham;
  • Sound: Ryan Crowther; and
  • A large production team.

Born in the booming Nanjing metropolis in 1987, Chuan got her start as a ballet dancer with the country’s most prestigious dance company, Qianxian Art Theater, while still a teenager. In 2009, she moved to New York City and eventually joined the Martha Graham Dance Company, touring around the world.

SHED” is actually the final show that Chuan will offer as part of the inaugural Artist Commissioning Program Award from the Queens Council on the Arts. Selected for its capacity to tell untold stories in American art, the project was selected from nearly 100 applications.

XiaoChuan Xie one

XiaoChuan Xie two

Top two images: XiaoChuan Xie; bottom image: Queens Botanical Garden


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