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Chicago’s Ping Tom Memorial Park is the latest location for artist Lawrence Weiner’s interactive public artwork, OUT OF SIGHT, which aims to encourage positive thinking for park goers, including those from neighbouring Chinatown. The installation series is enjoying its second year in Chicago with the latest iteration marking the global premiere of the project in Mandarin.

OUT OF SIGHT enlivens the city’s neighborhoods and parks through activations, performances and events that create fluid environments in which art and experience are ever-changing for participants. Through these efforts, the installation aims to bring new visitors to parks, increase repeat parks visitors, and ultimately allow the parks to become hubs of focused activity.

OUT OF SIGHT

A happy camper jumping across the Mandarin version of the marelle at Ping Tom Memorial Park. Image: Chicago Park District.

The City of Chicago serves as a model city for OUT OF SIGHT in terms of working with parks and cultural centers. Through the project’s partnership with The Chicago Park District, OUT OF SIGHT aims to bring art and social engagement to the city’s parks as well as Chicago’s 77 communities, creating engaging environments for all park patrons to enjoy.

OUT OF SIGHT is a playful, text-based, hopscotch-style reimagining of the playground game. At present, it has 10 works installed across six Chicago parks, in three languages (English, Spanish, and Mandarin). Weiner’s bold black and white work in Ping Tom Park can be found in two separate art installations (Mandarin and English) with each measuring 35-feet in length. They encourage young residents, members of the Chinese community, and tourists to feel empowered.

OUT OF SIGHT

Teens participating in OUT OF SIGHT’s six-week dance camp at Eugene Field strike a pose with Logan, their teaching artist. Image: Chicago Park District

OUT OF SIGHT is also accompanied by several activations, including educational programming and dynamic performances that cater to Mandarin speakers. OUT OF SIGHT’s hired Teaching Artists work with local teens on problem solving and building specific skills. They provide specialized engagement opportunities geared toward the arts including a community-wide performance showcasing the talents of over 200 children across music, dance, theater, spoken word, and the visual arts.  These programs help teens engage with OUT OF SIGHT and serve as a toolkit for them in taking productive steps toward their futures.

The game-like installation offers an engaging attraction for the growing number of Chinese tourists who are visiting the iconic Midwestern city to delve into its rich cultural scene. The city enjoyed a record tourism year in 2018 with 58 million visitors. Chinese visitors grew by 2.1 percent, a reflection of the city’s strong China outreach.

OUT OF SIGHT CHI-ENG

OUT OF SIGHT was inspired by the concepts of exuberance, energy, happiness, vision, visualization, enlightenment, spontaneity, and serendipity which have been translated into Mandarin. The artwork asks participants how to catch these words and make them part of your daily lives. Photo: Lawrence Weiner Studio

Achieved in partnership with the Chicago Park District, the 2019 rollout follows the success of Weiner’s installations in Maggie Daley Park and Walsh Park last summer. The series will continue in its district-wide embrace of Chicago into 2020 and beyond with the goal of installing the public artwork in over twenty of Chicago’s parks.

For additional information visit OUT OF SIGHT or email info@outofsight.org

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