This is a grouping of about 375 silver gelatin black and white photographs, about three-fourths of which are part of MOCA’s 50,000+ photograph collection by photojournalist Emile Bocian and a fourth of which are part of MOCA’s Betty Lee Sung Collection. These particular prints have likely not been digitized, and thus conservation treatment to delicately unstick and flatten the photographs would importantly allow MOCA to save and offer access to prints that are currently stuck to paper or are in a severe state of curling.
In his capacity as a photojournalist for the now defunct China Post, Bocian prolifically documented New York’s Chinese American community throughout the 1970s and 1980s. His photographs cover a range of topics and events, from protest demonstrations and visits of notable figures such as Muhammad Ali and Mayor Ed Koch to Chinese Americans in and around Chinatown, and events and streetscapes in and around Chinatown. A pioneer of Chinese American Studies, Dr. Sung spent decades of her career researching within and teaching about Chinese American communities and has developed a similarly rich collection important to Chinese American history.