Emile Bocian: Photojournalist for The China Post, NYC
From the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, a Polish Jew named Emile Bocian, extensively photographed and documented New York City’s Chinese community for The China Post, a Chinese-language daily paper. Billing itself as “The Voice of the American Chinese,” The China Post was in publication from 1972 through 1986. At its height, the paper saw a nationwide circulation of over 30,000 copies, but gradually declined to 20,000 in 1986 when the paper suspended publication.
At The China Post, Emile took thousands of photographs of Chinese Americans, capturing images of protests, sporting events, daily life, trade shows, parades, opera performances, school graduations, etc. About a dozen photos of each event would be used in The Post’s photospreads, but Emile archived hundreds of his outtakes. By the late 1980s, many of these photos would find their way into the archives at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown.
Kevin Chu, Research Manager at MOCA, will discuss the interesting story of how twenty-five boxes labeled only as the Emile Bocian Collection, came into the Museum’s possession, and highlight various photographs and their significance in documenting the history of Chinatown and Asian American life.