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Mui Yuen Kung Chiu & Hung Fook Chiu collection

 Collection — Box: 1-11, Frame: 12-13
Identifier: 2009.015
The collection contains 250 hand written opera manuscripts, Books and articles written by Chiu, Hung Fook and other authors on Cantonese opera history, theory, performance, and instrument. Photographs of Chiu, Mui Yuen Kung and Chiu, Hung Fook on stages, at training classes, at their opera business, and in their daily life, in group pictures with other Hong Kong opera singers, as well as the materials of the Art and Performance Center and the Arts Training Centre, including business stationary, commemorative frames, stamps, business cards, membership registration form, and awards. The collection also includes opera props, instruments, and costumes. The center maintained a close professional relationship with The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong(香港八和会馆) – a 130-year-old organization for Cantonese opera performers – and the collection is able to include some of their materials, such as documents from the famous cymbalist(资深“打锣”师傅,行内人称其“打锣坤”或“坤叔”——“打锣”的地位和作用相当于粤剧演出时伴奏乐队的领导和指挥,cymbalist performs a very important role in Cantonese Opera, like a bandleader), Poon Quon(潘坤).

Dates

  • Majority of material found in 1996-2009

Language of Materials

Most materials are in Chinese.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

For reference use only; not for reproduction, distribution, or deposit in another collection. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Director of Collections. If publishing, cite: Mui Yuen Kung Chiu & Hung Fook Chiu Collection, Museum of Chinese in America.

Extent

18 Linear Feet (13 boxes, 1 oversize framed object in a separate package, 1 trunk) : paper documentation, photographs, certificates, institutional objects, opera costumes and stage props ; 9 regular archival boxes: 15" x 12" x 10" each 4 unregularly archival boxes: from 13" x11" x7" up to 36" x 19" x 6" 1 trunk: 26" x 14" x 16.5" 1 frame package: 23" x 12" x 2"

Biographical / Historical

Chiu, Mui Yuen Kung, also known as Yuen Siu Mui(婉笑梅), original named Kong, Ruizhen(孔瑞贞), was born in a Cantonese opera family in Guangzhou, China in 1913. Her father was the famous Cantonese opera singer Liang, Guifen(靓桂芬); her older sister was the Cantonese Opera actress Xiao, Lisu(肖麗苏), and sister-in-law was the famous Cantonese Opera performer Liang, Tiefeng(梁铁峯); her young sister was also a Cantonese opera actress Wan, Xiaolan(婉笑籣), and is still living in New York. Chiu, Mui Yuen Kung came to America in 1940s. She joined the ownership of a Chinese restaurant Bobo(宝宝) located at 20 1/2 Pell St., run by her previous Cantonese opera colleagues Mr. Poon Quon (潘坤)and Tan, Bingyong(谭秉镛). She was later married to Chiu, Hung Fook(白文彪), and opened the Art and Performance Center(研艺中心/曲艺苑) with him at 60 Mulberry Street in NYC Chinatown in 1996, striving on propagating traditional Cantonese opera art in America. Ms. Chiu passed away at the New York-Presbyterian / Lower Manhattan Hospital(纽约下城医院) on April 12, 2009. Chiu, Hung Fook(白文彪), also known as Bill Pak, Bak Man-Biu, or Bai, Wenbiao, original named Zhao, Hongfu (招鸿福,pronounced as Chiu, Hung Fook in Cantonese), who was born in 1921 in Hong Kong. In the 40s he started working in Cantonese opera. During the 1950s, he joined the world of Chinese cinema, directing films and collaborating with the legendary director Lee Han-Hsiang(李翰祥) as a screen writer and assistant director. He has worked with on many classic opera films. Later he joined TVB and have worked with stars like Chow Yun Fat(周润发), Carol Dodo Cheng Yui Ling(郑裕玲) and Liza Wong Ming Chuen(汪明荃) on many classic television series. Mr. Chiu has acted in many films ever since the 1950s till his retirement in 1996. He is considerably one of the best veteran actors in the industry, and is versatile in any roles he plays. He is perhaps best known as the Patriatch Lok Fai(洛辉) in A House Is Not a Home(家变) which became a TVB classic. Mr. Chiu immigrated to New York during the transferring process of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China, developed a twilight romance with famous Cantonese opera diva Yuen Siu Mui and cultivated Cantonese opera talent in Chinatown. Mr. Chiu passed away on August 2, 2007 at the Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers in Manhattan, New York(纽约曼哈顿圣云仙医院), aged 86. In 1996, Chiu, Mui Yuen Kung and Chiu, Hung Fook opened the Art and Performance Center as well as the Arts Training Centre at 60 Mulberry Street in Manhattan Chinatown in NYC, and organized a Cantonese Opera Performance Troupe, recruiting members who aimed to study and perform Cantonese opera and agree to follow the troupe discipline at a $5 monthly fee. The training classes include Basic Cantonese Opera Singing, Playing, and History and Theory.

Arrangement

Arranged into 4 series alphabetically: [1]opera manuscripts; [2]documents; [3]photographs; [4]costumes and stage props

General

This finding aid was created with grant support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Title
Mui Yuen Kung Chiu & Hung Fook Chiu Collection
Author
Yue Ma

Repository Details

Part of the Museum of Chinese in America Repository

Contact:
70 Mulberry Street,2nd floor
New York NY 10013 USA