Zhang Hongtu Papers

Zhang Hongtu picDate Range: 19742011
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-08-05
Creator: Zhang, Hongtu (1943-)

History: Born in China’s Kansu Province in 1943, Zhang Hongtu studied at the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts in Beijing. The Chinese Civil War and the Cultural Revolution presented many difficult challenges to Zhang, not only because of his family’s Muslim background, but also because of shifting perceptions of artists and intellectuals. His schooling was cut short, and he was assigned to do farm work in the countryside. A few years later, he was assigned to make jewelry to be sold to Westerners. Throughout this period, Zhang continued making art. After participating in a group exhibition sometimes called the “Contemporaries Group,” Zhang moved to the United States in 1982, his wife and son joining him a few years later. He studied at the Art Students League in New York City and later became an artist-in-residence at the Asian American Arts Centre. Read more

Martin Wong Papers


Date Range:
 19821999
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2008-12-01
Creator: Wong, Martin (1946-1999)

History: Acclaimed Chinese American artist Martin Wong (1946-1999) is best known for his cityscapes of New York’s Chinatown and the Lower East Side, his championing of graffiti art as a legitimate art form in the 1980s and ‘90s, and his incorporation of homoerotic sensibilities into his paintings. Wong was born in Portland, Oregon on July 11, 1946. He grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown district and attended Humboldt State University, graduating in 1968 from its Art Studio program with a focus on ceramics. He was involved in the Bay Area’s performance art scene through the 1970s, but after moving to New York in the early 1980s, began to focus almost exclusively on painting. Read more

South Asian Women’s Creative Collective Records

Date Range: 19972009
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2009-11-10
Creator: South Asian Women’s Creative Collective

History: In 1997, Jaishri Abichandani founded the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) to foster a sense of community among South Asian women artists and creative professionals in New York City. Fourteen women, who were invited through community-based organizations such as Sakhi for South Asian Women and the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA), attended SAWCC’s first meeting in the offices of the Sister Fund. In March 1998, the collective held its first annual fundraiser and art show, “Karma Kollage,” which drew a crowd of over 300. Soon, SAWCC, the only New York–based South Asian arts organization at the time, began meeting monthly at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, providing a space for members to collaborate, network, share their work, and gain exposure.

Soh Daiko Records

Soh Daiko_Credit_Kim NakashimaDate Range: 19801999
Survey Conducted: Sat, 2008-11-15
Creator: Soh Daiko

History: Soh Daiko was founded in 1979 as the first taiko group on the East Coast. Originally formed by members of the New York Buddhist Church, the group now consists of members from diverse backgrounds and professions. Members receive instruction on drum building, basic taiko skills and philosophy from senior members and visiting expert drummers. The group currently operates as a collective in which decisions are made by consensus; however, the group structure allows for elected officers who serve in the capacities of Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Practice Committee, and Practice Leaders.

Noel Shaw Papers

Date Range: 19922003
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2010-11-11
Creator: Shaw, Noel

History: Born in 1961 in New York City, Noel Shaw is a filmmaker and writer whose work explores the experiences of the Filipino diaspora and highlights the diversity within it. Most recently, he directed, produced, and wrote the short Kundiman(Pinoy Noir Films, 2008), which illustrates the impact of politics on an individual’s life. His work has been screened at the London Film Festival, Brussels International Independent Film Festival, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and the Asian American International Film Festival in New York City. He served as the Distribution & Marketing Director at Third World Newsreel from 1999 to 2001 and as the Publications Director at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop from 2001 to 2004.

Red Hot Organization Archive

Date Range: 19892004
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2010-01-28
Creator: Red Hot Organization

History: The Red Hot Organization is an international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture. First founded as King Cole, Inc. by Leigh Blake and John Carlin in 1989, Red Hot Organization has since produced fourteen albums, related television programs and media events incorporating the talents of performers, visual artists, producers and directors to raise funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Read more

Ping Chong & Company Records

Date Range: 19722009
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2009-03-02
Creator: Ping Chong & Company

History: Internationally-renowned theater director, choreographer, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist Ping Chong was born in Ontario, Canada in 1946. He grew up in New York’s Chinatown and studied visual art and filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute.Since beginning his theatrical career as a member of Meredith Monk’s The House Foundation, he has created over fifty major works for theater, including Humboldt’s Current (Obie Award, 1977), A.M./A.M. – The Articulated Man (Villager Award, 1982), Nosferatu (Maharam Design Award, 1985), Kind Ness (USA Playwrights’ Award, 1988), and Brightness (2 Bessie Awards, 1990). He has produced three full-length puppetry pieces – Kwaidan (1998), Obon: Tales of Rain and Moonlight (2002), and Cathay: Three Tales of China (2005) – and has created numerous installation pieces, including Place Concrete (1988) as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, A Facility for the Containment and Channeling of Undesirable Elements (1992) commissioned by Artists Space in New York City, and Testimonial (1995), which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale’s Transculture show. Read more

Peeling Records

Peeling logoDate Range: 19952003
Survey Conducted: Sun, 2012-11-04 and Thu, 2009-09-17
Creator: Peeling

History: Peeling was a New York City based collective (1995-2005) of writers, performers, directors and producers. Using autobiography as a departure point, their collaborations were an exploration of contemporary Asian American identities through the development of original theater work.Originally founded in 1995 as “Peeling the Banana” by director/performer Gary San Angel at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the group developed many of its pieces through physical theater and improvisation work, which were later transcribed; others were written and further developed through group workshops. At the time, no other such group existed on the East Coast and many talented artists got their start in or had at one time been members of the group. With sold out performances at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Second Stage, Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), the Desh Pardesh Festival (Toronto), as well as numerous colleges and universities, Peeling the Banana presented its poignant blend of poetry, theater, dance, and music to audiences across the country.

National Asian American Theatre Company Collection

Date Range: 19892009
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2009-04-01
Creator: National Asian American Theatre Company

History: Founded in 1989 in New York City, the National Asian American Theatre Company, Inc. (NAATCO) seeks to demonstrate the important contributions of Asian American theatre to American culture. The company presents a repertory that includes classic European and American plays as written with all Asian/Pacific American casts, adaptations of these classics by Asian/Pacific American playwrights, and new plays – not necessarily written by, about or for Asian/Pacific Americans – premiered by an Asian/Pacific American cast. The company’s focus, therefore, is not on Asian/Pacific American authorship of plays, but rather on the cast. The organization feels that this points to broad areas of understanding, which create, as their mission statement says, “a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience.” Read more

Mix Collection

Date Range: 19872001
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2008-11-20
Creator: Mix Festival

History: The Mix Festival, originally known as the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival, was created in 1987 by filmmaker Jim Hubbard and novelist Sarah Schulman. The purpose of the festival was to create an alternative to mainstream gay and lesbian film festivals and to highlight the important contributions that queer filmmakers have made to experimental and avant-garde film practices. The program of the initial festival, which was first held at the Millennium Film Workshop, included a number of both classic and new works by queer filmmakers. The third festival was held in 1989 at the Anthology Film Archives, where it has more or less been held ever since. The focus of the 1989 festival was on representations of the AIDS crisis, including several works by experimental filmmakers who had succumbed to AIDS and many others who were fighting the virus themselves. The fourth festival included a special emphasis on films by and about black gay men. In 1991, like many arts organizations around New York, the festival suffered a severe cut in funding from the New York State Council of the Arts. Nevertheless, the festival continued to show films that posited themselves against mainstream representations of homosexuality and AIDS. Read more