Ping Chong (1946- ) is an interdisciplinary theatre director, writer, choreographer, videographer and installation artist. The Ping Chong Archive, dating from 1971 to 2008, documents his creative and production process. It holds scripts; correspondence; notes; production files; photographs, negatives, and slides; clippings; programs; set and technical designs; posters; and production software.
Biographical/historical: Ping Chong (1946- ) is an interdisciplinary theatre director, writer, choreographer, videographer and installation artist. He studied visual arts, dance, and filmmaking, and originally intended to work in film. His career began in the early 1970s when he joined Meredith Monk's performance company. Monk, a pioneer of experimental and interdisciplinary theater, steered Chong in that direction; his collaborations with Monk included The Travelogue Series and, later, The Games.
Since 1972, he and his company (Ping Chong & Company) have created over 50 works for the stage, which have been presented at major venues all over the world. He is the recipient of many awards, including two Obies, a National Institute for Music Theatre Award, a Playwrights USA Award, and two "Bessie" Awards for creative achievement. He has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the TCG/Pew Charitable Trust, and the USA Artist Fellowship in recognition of his contribution to American arts and culture.
Among Ping Chong's many significant works are:
The East-West Quartet, a four-work series exploring east-west relations past, present, and future, composed of the productions Deshima, Chinoiserie, After Sorrow (a collaboration with choreographer Muna Tseng and composer Josef Fung), and Pojagi;
Kwaidan and OBON: Tales of Rain and Moonlight, two puppet theater works based on Japanese ghost stories;
EDDA: Viking Tales of Lust, Revenge and Family, a music-theater work created in collaboration with Ben Bagby and the Sequentia Ensemble;
Blind Ness: The Irresistible Light of Encounter, an exploration of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and the colonial history of the Belgian Congo;
Undesirable Elements, an ongoing series of works exploring the effects of history, culture and ethnicity on the lives of individuals living in particular communitie. Chong has created over 25 versions of Undesirable Elements in cities such as Atlanta; Charleston; Chicago; Cleveland; Minneapolis; Seattle; Long Beach, CA; Newark; Clinton, NY; Rotterdam; and Tokyo;
Children Of War, created in collaboration with the Center for Multi-Cultural Human Services in Virginia with a group of young people who have experienced war and civil turmoil;
I Will Not Be Sad In This World and Plage Concrète, video works which have been screened internationally and on public television;
and several environmental art installations, including In the Absence of Memory, Tempus Fugit, A Facility for the Containment and Channelling of Undesirable Elements, and Testimonial.
Source: http://www.pingchong.org/30th/ping.html (Accessed Sept. 27, 2010)
Content: The Ping Chong Archive, dating from 1971 to 2008, documents the creative and production process of an important innovator in experimental theater. It holds scripts; correspondence; notes; production files; photographs, negatives, and slides; clippings; programs; set and technical designs; posters; and production software. It is arranged in two series, Project Files and Ping Chong & Company Files.
Series I: Project Files, contains extensive records of over 50 projects which Chong created and/or directed, including original theater works, art installations, film and video productions, theater and opera directing projects, and collaborations with other artists, including Meredith Monk and Muna Tseng. The productions with the most documentation are 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.
Series II: Ping Chong & Company Files, holds clippings; development files and grant applications that shed further light on Chong's work and its creation; photographs; and posters.
Almost every project in the collection is also documented by audio or visual material, and most projects from the 1980s forward include electronic records. Inquiries regarding audio/visual material in the collection may be directed to the Billy Rose Theatre Division (email@example.com). Audio/visual material may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
Funding: Processed through a gift from The Leon Levy Foundation, 2009.