Queens Botanical Gardens Terrace; Photo Credit: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO     

Queens Botanical Gardens Terrace; Photo Credit: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO     

SHED by XiaoChuan Xie
Friday, July 20, 8:30pm-11pm  

Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Free • Registration Required

Queens Council on the Arts and the Queens Botanical Garden present the world premiere of SHED, a new work by Artist Commissioning Program Awardee in Choreography Chuan Xie.

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SHED sculpture tetrahedrons

SHED sculpture tetrahedrons

SHED sculpture Tetrahedrons under UV light

SHED sculpture Tetrahedrons under UV light


On Friday, July 20th, the Queens Council on the Arts and Queens Botanical Garden co-present SHED, an interdisciplinary installation, performance, and interactive audience experience.

Dancer/choregrapher Chuan Xie

Dancer/choregrapher Chuan Xie

Created by choreographer/dancer Chuan Xie, this project is the culminating performance of QCA’s Artist Commissioning Program award. Free and open to the public upon registration, the event is hosted at Queens Botanical Garden. The gardens will open at 8:30pm for a 9pm performance. The show will run for approximately one hour, with reception to follow.

Using movement, sculpture, sound, and light, SHED is a durational performance piece. During the work, dancers will slowly alter the work’s sculptures (pictured above). Xie and her creative team of movement, visual, and sound-based artists will create this experience on Queens Botanical Garden’s outdoor terrace. As the performers move from within the tetrahedron structures, UV-sensitive layers beneath the plaster surfaces emerge. As the dance progresses, the performers’ movements generate cracks in the sculptures, revealing a glowing interior that was hidden at the start.

Chuan Xie in her studio

Chuan Xie in her studio

This process serves as a metaphor for the collective migrant experience, underscoring the reality for many migrants, whose identities are often hidden to onlookers.

“The alien environment created through the black light turns the familiar human form into that of a universal essence, asking the audience to reexamine their relationship to color,” writes Xie, Chinese-born dancer/interdisciplinary artist currently residing in Queens.

Selected for its capacity to tell untold stories in American art, Xie’s project was chosen from nearly 100 applications for the inaugural Artist Commissioning Program award in choreography. This new commission for performing artists issued by the Queens Council on the Arts tasks local constituents, or art producers, with issuing the $10,000 award.

These art producers are Queens-based community members with a stake in the borough’s cultural landscape. The individuals range from choreographers to art historians to local business owners, and include: Jacqui Dugal, Juan Valencia, Mala Desai, Malikka Kateron, Margaret Vendryes, Margot Yale, and Ricardo Bentham.

Chuan’s project stood out to me because of her focus on the impact of moving points of light on dancers and the spaces they inhabit
— Margaret Vendryes, Art Producer

“Chuan's project stood out to me because of her focus on the impact of moving points of light on dancers and the spaces they inhabit,” says Art Producer Margaret Vendryes, who also serves as Department Chair of Performing and Fine Arts at York College. “Chuan’s work visualizes the challenges and surprises attendant to immigrating to a place unfamiliar from what was home. The transformations that take place in the performance of SHED are indicative of what often must be dismantled and let go, in order to make home anew.”

Chuan and her team chose to present the world premiere of this work at Queens Botanical Garden for its role as a “hidden gem” in New York City’s cultural landscape and for the venue’s capacity to bring art to unexpected places. This partnership also speaks to the project’s mission to serve underserved neighborhoods in Queens.

SHED Team Includes: 

Movement: XiaoChuan Xie in collaboration with Lauren Newman and Nikola Sampson
Sculpture: Kyle Dietrich and Broderick Shoemaker
Lighting: Yi-Chung Chen
Sound: Ryan Crowther

Produced By:

Adele Eisenstein, Ann Margaret O'Connor, Ariadne Pavlakis, Brendez Wineglass, Daniel Olson, Greg Mays, Jacqueline Dugal, Juan Valencia, Mala Desai, Kuang-Yu Fong, Malikka Karteron, Margaret Rose Vendryes, Margot Yale, & Ricardo Bentham

Read more about the art producers

More information on Xie’s project is available at https://www.queenscouncilarts.org/2017-artists


The Artist Commissioning Program (ACP) provides Queens choreographers, playwrights, and composers $10,000 towards the creation and production of new, original work. Designed to democratize the traditional commissioning process, the program enables Queens community members, or art producers, to select the artists and serve as a system of support throughout their projects’ production. For more information about the ACP, visit: www.queenscouncilarts.org/art-commissioning/

The ACP is made possible by generous support from the Scherman Foundation, the New York State Regional Economic Development Council and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative education programs, and real-world applications of environmental stewardship. For more information, visit: www.queensbotanical.org