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Sat, Jul 13



[Calumet Park] Guardians of the Earth and Sky: Performance

July 13, 2-3PM, Calumet Park. Dance, music, and storytelling inspired by the four guardian animals of the Chinese constellations: the Tiger, the Tortoise, the Dragon, and the Bird.

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[Calumet Park] Guardians of the Earth and Sky: Performance
[Calumet Park] Guardians of the Earth and Sky: Performance

Time & Location

Jul 13, 2024, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT

Chicago, 9801 S Ave G, Chicago, IL 60617, USA


About the event

Times & Locations:

July 13th, Sat, 2PM - 3PM in Calumet Park, 9801 S. Avenue G.

July 27th, Sat, 2PM - 4PM in Palmisano Park, 2700 S. Halsted St.

August 17th, Sat, 2PM - 4PM, in the Garden of the Phoenix, 6300 S Cornell Ave.

Event Description:

Come on an adventure with the Four Celestial Guardians: the White Tiger of the West, the Black Tortoise of the North, the Azure Dragon of the East, and the Vermilion Bird of the South!

Explore seasons, elements, colors, and constellations through storytelling, music, and dance in this interactive performance by Heritage Museum of Asian Art Resident Artist Irene Hsiao in collaboration with tai chi master Peter Wong, dancers Amanda Maraist and Darling Shear, musicians Paige Brown and Hunter Diamond, visual artist Young Kim, storyteller Penny Li, and Heritage Museum of Asian Art. The performance will take place in Calumet Park on July 13th (as part of the Calumet Park Centennial Celebration), Palmisano Park on July 27th, and in the Garden of the Phoenix on Jackson Park's Wooded Island on August 17th.

Altogether, this multicultural cast is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, French, English, Japanese, Korean, and Swahili – and the performance is created in collaboration with participants of all ages, who will be invited to speak, sing, dance, and create artwork with us.

Dress for the weather and bring a chair or a blanket to enjoy the performance.

Participants will receive a free admission stamp to the Heritage Museum of Asian Art.

The ancient Chinese Huainanzi 淮南子 describes a universe divided into five directions, each associated with a color, a guardian, a season, and an element. The guardians are 青龍 Azure Dragon of the East (wood), 朱雀 Red Bird of the South (fire), 白虎 White Tiger of the West (metal), 玄武 Black Tortoise of the North (water), and 黃龍 Yellow Dragon of the Center (earth).

Guardians of the Earth and Sky is presented as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor's Office and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. This project is made possible, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, the Awesome Foundation, and Calumet Park Advisory Council. The Night Out in the Parks program presents cultural events year-round in neighborhood parks throughout the city. The Chicago Park District in partnership with 100 local artists and organizations, presents engaging events and performances that enhance quality of life across Chicago and amplify the artistic and cultural vibrancy in every neighborhood. Through multiple disciplines, which include theater, music, movies, dance, site-specific work, nature programs, and community festivals,  the series aims to support Chicago-based artists, facilitate community-based partnerships and programs, cultivate civic engagement, and ensure equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans. For more information, please visit

How to Find Us:

Calumet Park: on the east side of the Fieldhouse

Palmisano Park: near the southwest entrance to the park on 29th St

Garden of the Phoenix: Following the instruction of posters.

About the Artists

Irene Hsiao is a dancer, writer, multidisciplinary artist, and 2024 artist in residence at the Heritage Museum of Asian Art. She creates performances in conversation with visual art in museums, galleries, and public spaces, a practice that includes site-specific interaction with visual artworks and experimental engagement with artists, institutions, and the public. She was the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Smart Museum of Art in 2020 and 2021, 2022-23 Fellow at High Concept Labs, first Artist in Residence at 21c Museum Hotel in 2022-2023, and a 2020 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. Her performances have been presented at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, EXPO Chicago, Chicago Textile Week, Ragdale Foundation, Krannert Art Museum, Alma Art Gallery, Kavi Gupta Gallery, and more. She has received individual artist grants from Chicago DCASE, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Night Out in the Parks, and the Awesome Foundation.

Vocalist, pianist and composer Paige Brown believes in the use of voice as a channel, and the use of the instrument/body as a voice. Having inherited a version of the deep, resonant voice of her father and her late grandfather, she rejoices in the ability to play inside that resonance, bringing that sound to bear in songs that speak of joy, love, grief, and hope. She draws from a broad spectrum of influences that range from high school madrigal singers to college gospel choir, skipping from soul to funk to folk and weaving through sounds somewhere in between. Emerging from her compositional chrysalis, she is currently developing the inner mechanisms and connections to deepen and externalize her own artistic practice more fully, reacquainting herself with the simple, playful practices that attracted her to Music, her first love.

Hunter Diamond is a creative woodwind and sound artist living and performing in Chicago. A mixture of conceptual, composed, and improvised performances keep him fully embedded in the Chicago creative arts community. In 2021 Hunter founded Curio Records which serves as the primary outlet for his recorded projects. Diamond performs with several groups of his own: Black Diamond (co-led with saxophonist Artie Black), the Hunter Diamond Quartet, Metal and Wood, Herbsaint (New Orleans traditional), and Strange Frontiers: sonifying the poetry of his father Eric Diamond. Diamond frequently contributes to collaborative work, often bringing a one-man-orchestral sound to projects with poet Marvin Tate, storyteller Sam Lewis, sound artist Allen Moore, movement artist Irene Hsiao, vocalist Ana Everling, singer/songwriter Hannah Frances, and the Wonder Wagon.

Young Kim is a Chicago-based educator and interdisciplinary artist from South Korea who works with painting, installation, weaving, hand papermaking, and performance, among others. She received a BFA in Textile Art from Hongik University in Seoul and an MFA in Fine Arts at Columbia College Chicago and has participated in considerable solo and group exhibitions throughout Korea, the U.S., and abroad. She is a recipient of the Albert P. Weisman Award and the Haystack Fellowship in 2023. Young values Buddhist conversations that express this world as the suffering world, sabba, where humans undergo dukkha, meaning unhappiness, despair, or pain, due to excessive attachment to tangible or intangible materials. These conversations also promote practicing wisdom and loving-kindness to reduce dukkha and achieve nirvana, the ultimate state of serenity. Believing that the work of art can be another instrument to lessen individuals' hardships, Young composes artworks to deliver life-affirming sensations – such as hope, joy, respite, transcendence, or tranquility. She dreams of her showcase offering a sanctuary to the people of sabba.

Penny Li is the development and program manager at the Heritage Museum of Asian Art. Having spent 90% of her days in China, Penny came to Chicago to pursue Arts Management at Columbia College Chicago. She is passionate about the transformative possibilities of art interpretation and engagement. Alongside her day job, she explores her creativity as a photographer and singer-songwriter. Penny is a lover of food, psychology, and theatre. Multilingual, she is fluent in Chinese, English, and Korean, with a conversational level of Japanese.

Amanda Maraist is a movement deviser + improviser from the Texas gulf coast, and co-directs bim bom studios. She works collaboratively with movers, musicians and artists; most recently with Helen Lee, Freedom From and Freedom To, Khecari, Irene Hsiao, Ayako Kato / Art Union Humanscape and independently. Her movement work exists as both dance-making and physical space-making towards creating spaces of community abundance, with a do-it-together demeanor.

Darling “Shear” Squire is a Chicago native with Atlanta roots and trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and African. After high school, Darling began dancing professionally with Bubba Carr, Cher’s choreographer, Rhonda Henriksen, Twyla Tharp, Tracy Vogt, Hinton Battle, and Lauri Stallings. As a freelance dancer/ choreographer, Darling has worked with The Fly Honeys, Soho House Chicago, EXPO Chicago, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, MCA, Salonathon, Open TV and many others. Awards include: Impulstanz Between Gestures scholarship (Vienna, Austria), Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, CDF 10X10 Choreographer, Links Hall CoMission Fellowship, 3Arts nominee (2019, 2022). Darling's career has been one with a strong spiritual center and allowance of universal well-being.

Peter Wong is a fifth-generation practitioner of Yang Style Taijiquan. He has been practicing Traditional Kungfu for over fifty years and has been an instructor of Tai Chi at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Peter Wong was a director of the 26th and 27th Board of Directors of the Chin Woo Athletic Association Hong Kong Limited. He is also the appointed Traditional Martial Arts Advisor and Sanshou散手 Advisor(2008-Now) of the Hong Kong, China Wushu Union.

About Heritage Museum of Asian Art

Founded in 2014, Heritage Museum of Asian Art showcases a wide range of art forms, spanning many cultures and time periods of Asia. The museum’s collection includes archaic and modern jades, Neolithic pottery, imperial porcelains, Chinese snuff bottles, scholar’s objects, textiles, bronzes and more. Classical Chinese furniture also adorns the galleries. The museum provides an interconnection between the arts and cultures of Asia for the residents of Chicago and for visitors from all around the world. Location: 3F, 3500 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60609.

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