Scope and arrangement
The Ping Chong Archive reveals the creative and production process of an important innovator in experimental theater, as well his work's reception. It contains extensive documentation of over 50 projects which Chong created and/or directed from 1971-2007, including original theater works, art installations, film/video productions, theater and opera directing projects, published works, and collaborations with other artists, including Meredith Monk and Muna Tseng. Productions with substantial documentation in the collection include Undesirable Elements, Chinoiserie, Deshima, Kind Ness, Maraya - Acts of Nature in Geological Time, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Darkness, Nuit Blanche, and OBON: Tails of Rain and Moonlight. The collection also includes the files of Chong's production company (Ping Chong & Co.), which contain development files and grant applications that shed further light on Chong's work and its creation. The collection contains scripts, notes, production files, photographs, negatives, slides, clippings, programs, set and technical designs, posters and electronic records.
Series I, Project Files, contains documentation of over 50 works. Some projects have manifestations in more than one medium. Nearly all of Chong's work has significant amounts of documentation; projects with the most material include Undesirable Elements, Chinoiserie, Deshima, Kind Ness, Maraya - Acts of Nature in Geological Time, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Darkness, Nuit Blanche, and OBON: Tails of Rain and Moonlight.
This series contains scripts, production files, photographs, negatives, slides, filmstrips, clippings, set, lighting and other technical plans, posters, sound and video recordings, and electronic records. Electronic records exist from the 1980s productions forward and can contain correspondence, scripts, technical notes and photographs. Files labeled "technical" include descriptions and discussion of staging, venues, lighting, sound, and other production-related issues.
Almost every project is also documented by audio or visual material. Audio/video items are not described in this finding aid. Inquiries regarding audio materials, video materials and electronic records in the series may be directed to the Billy Rose Theatre Division (firstname.lastname@example.org). Audio/visual materials may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
Series II, Ping Chong & Co. General Files, contains the papers of Chong's production company. It includes clippings, development files containing grant correspondence, photographs, posters and electronic records. The largest amounts of development correspondence are with the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Japan Foundation. Photographs include promotional headshots of Chong, both solo and with collaborators including Meredith Monk and Muna Tseng. The electronic records in this series contain development files regarding the National Endowment for the Arts, and the text of an unpublished book by Chong.
The Ping Chong archive is arranged in two series:
- 1971-2007, undated
- 1972-2005, undated