The Museum of Chinese in America Announces Opening

The Museum of Chinese in America Announces Opening

- Doors Open on June 26 to Launch Summer Programs -
- Full Core Exhibition and First Group Show Open on September 22 –


June 12, 2009, New York, NY – The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), announced today that it will open its new location at 215 Centre Street on Friday, June 26. The opening will coincide with the launch of MOCA’s 2009 summer program of independent films, pop culture, guided tours, book events and family activities. On Tuesday, September 22, elected officials and VIPs will preside over MOCA’s Celebration Ceremony to unveil the full MOCA core exhibit, “With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America” along with MOCA’s first group show, “Here & Now: Chinese Artists in New York,” featuring prominent contemporary artists of Chinese descent.


“From its community-based roots, MOCA’s new home marks its emergence as a national institution,” said Jonathan Ligh, M.D., Chair of MOCA’s Board of Trustees. “Our institutional capacity will increase six fold and allow us to house a range of exhibitions and programs to facilitate a deeper and broader dialogue about Chinese American history, identity, and culture.”

“The inspiration for this new home is the spirit of our Chinese American forebears and all that they have accomplished in America over the past 160 years,” said Executive Director and co-founder Charles Lai.  He added, “We owe it to ourselves and our children to create an educational institution that is committed to fostering dialogue and exploring the meaning and dynamics of our diverse, immigrant-based-and-built American identity and society. This new home is the culmination of the efforts made by co-founder John Kuo Wei Tchen, an outstanding staff, Board of Trustees, and the faithful support of a host of public and private funders, individual donors and angels.”


The New MOCA
Designed by renowned artist/designer Maya Lin, MOCA’s new home is a 14,000 square foot space featuring multiple exhibition galleries, interactive visitor kiosks, a multi-purpose auditorium/classroom, a research center, and a flexible space for various multidisciplinary public programs. MOCA is on its way to achieving LEED SILVER certification - incorporating environmentally sustainable design solutions throughout the museum.

The design juxtaposes the past wth the present while creating new spaces that redefine the identity of the building.  At the heart of the museum is its historic skylit courtyard, left deliberately raw and untouched, that harkens back to the memory of a Chinese courtyard house of the past. Each room of the core exhibition wraps around this courtyard and short biographic films are projected onto the glass windows facing the courtyard to give a glimpse of the stories and faces of Chinese Amercans through history- from the 1850s to the present day.

Located just inside the main entrance, The Journey Wall, comprised of individual bronze tiles, highlights the Chinese American diaspora, and links places of origin with the current homes of Chinese American families throughout the fifty states. The Journey Wall offers individuals a chance to contribute to MOCA as well as help share personal journeys that describe the larger diaspora of Chinese Americans throughout the United States.


“MOCA’s new space and its Journey Wall focus attention on individuals and families of Chinese heritage who have made their homes throughout the country, and are very much a part of the fabric of this nation. The space was designed to show the dynamic presentation of the Chinese American story, as an integral part of the greater, and continually evolving, American story,” said Ms. Lin.

Summer Programs 2009


The June 26 opening of MOCA launches an exciting summer schedule of programs, all of which can be found at here.  This schedule includes:

•    June 26, 27, 28:  MOCA provides free admission throughout the weekend, along with special activities.

•    July 1:  MOCA’s Chinatown Film Project (CFP) Premiere features original short films by Miguel Arteta, Patty Chang, Jem Cohen, Cary Fukunaga, So Yong Kim & Bradley Rust Gray, Amir Naderi, Sam Pollard, Shelly Silver, Rose Troche, and Wayne Wang & Richard Wong on their unique visions of Chinatown, New York. The CFP is on view at MOCA through December 31, 2009.

•    July 2:  MOCA launches Target Free Thursdays - Free gallery admission every Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. This exciting benefit has been made possible through the generosity of Target. 

•    July 11: First Asian American ComiCon (AACC) - MOCA, in collaboration with Secret Identities Universe Media, Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Asian CineVision, presents a day-long event that explores the unique contemporary role and historical legacy of Asians and Asian Americans in the world of comics and graphic fiction.

•    July 24 – 26:   32nd Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) – MOCA, in association with Asian CineVision, hosts the AAIFF Short Film Program, 72 Hr Film Shootout, For Youth by Youth, and Screenplay Reading.

Core Exhibit

Visitors during the summer will be able to access sections of MOCA’s new core exhibition, “With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America.”  The exhibition was designed by MGMT Design/Matter Practice Architecture with co-curators historian John Kuo Wei Tchen and Cynthia Ai-fen Lee, and is an exploration of the Chinese American experience—from the first steps of early Chinese immigrants on the American frontier, to the dramatic story of a people caught between the power and politics of two nations, to the continuing journey to understand what it means to be Chinese American, and ultimately, America’s own journey as a nation. The entire exhibition will be on full view on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.

“Here and Now: Chinese Artists in New York,” Opens on September 22, 2009 and runs through Spring 2010
The Museum of Chinese in America presents “Here & Now: Chinese Artists in New York”—its first group show of contemporary artists of Chinese descent.  Curated by Zhijian Qian, Here & Now explores the identity category “Chinese American” through the visual language of contemporary art. The exhibition is organized into three, seven-week long chapters—Visual Memories, Crossing Boundaries, and Toward Transculturalism—that reflect a wide range of cultural and ethnic issues that MOCA has been exploring in previous exhibitions, such as the cultural and political relationship between the United States and China, and the desire to synthesize the Chinese tradition with the tradition of modern western art. 

The Museum’s hours are:
Monday:      11am-5pm
Tuesday:      Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday:    11am-9pm
Friday:         11am-5pm
Saturday:     10am-5pm
Sunday:       10am-5pm

The Museum is closed to the public from Tuesday to Wednesday, except for prescheduled group tours and other special occasions.

2009 Summer Holiday Closings: July 4 and September 7

Regular admission prices are:
General Admission: $7
Seniors (w/ID) and Students (w/school ID): $4
Children under 12 in groups less than 8: free
MOCA Members: free

Hours, admission prices and schedule of events are subject to changes.

For More Information, please contact:
Sam Quan Krueger (212) 619-4785 x109
Julie Huang (917) 807-0718