Press Release (05/10/11): MOCA Announces Appointment of New Curator & Director of Exhibitions

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[New York, NY] May 5th, 2011 -- The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Herb Tam as the new Curator and Director of Exhibitions. He will be joining the museum on May 31, 2011.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the suburbs of San Francisco, Mr. Tam graduated with a graphic design degree from San Jose State University and an MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts. A highly respected curator since 2003, he has worked with a wide range of arts institutions, including the Exit Art, the Queens Museum of Art, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Asia Society, and Creative Capital Foundation.

As Associate Curator at Exit Art, Mr. Tam co-curated several well-received exhibitions, including Alternative Histories, a 50-year survey of alternative spaces in New York City; New Mirrors: Painting in a Transparent World, exploring the current state of painting in the information age; and Summer Mixtape Volume 1, delving into the role of pop music in the work of emerging artists. He has also co-curated Queens International 2006: Everything All At Once, a biennial of Queens-based emerging artists at the Queens Museum of Art, and A Jamaica, Queens Thing, an exhibition of historical ephemera and contemporary art tracing the influence of crack cocaine on the development of rap music in the early 1990s. In addition to this curatorial work, Mr. Tam is also a founding member of Godzookie, a collective of emerging and established Asian American artists and arts professionals living in New York City.

"The Board is thrilled that such an accomplished colleague as Herb will be joining MOCA. We are very pleased with this decision." said Maya Lin, Co-Chair of the Museum. According to S. Alice Mong, Director of the Museum, "Herb's combination of artistic sensibility and depth of intellectual curiosity should help strengthen MOCA's mission as it continues to grow and become the prominent national institution chronicling the continuous journey of Chinese in America. We look forward to his contributions as the Museum continues to be a platform for cultural dialogue through thought-provoking exhibits, programs, collaboration, and community engagement."

Mr. Tam's background and interests make him uniquely equipped to contribute to the discourse surrounding our understanding of the lives of Chinese Americans, and he plans to adopt an eclectic approach to programming by mixing historical material with contemporary art, drawing exhibition ideas from oral histories, and welcoming public engagement with the Museum's archives through Digital MOCA. Mr. Tam's underlying goal is to understand who we are today as Chinese people living in America and to uncover the many facets of Chinese identity while contextualizing them within the larger American experience.

About Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is the leading national museum dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and culture of people of Chinese descent in the United States. From its Maya Lin-designed home on the border of Chinatown and SoHo in New York City at 215 Centre Street, MOCA collects and displays historical and cultural artifacts, and organizes traveling exhibitions, classes, discussions, and events that explore all aspects of the Chinese American experience in the United States. MOCA began as a community-based organization founded in 1980 by Chinese American artists, historians and students who felt that the memories of first-generation "old-timers" in Chinatown would be lost without oral history, photo documentation, research, and collecting efforts. Now a resource for historians and community members alike, the Museum has evolved into a national keeper of cultural information and an influential voice in the ongoing history of Chinese and Chinese American culture across the country. The Museum¡¯s original location at 70 Mulberry Street, currently the Collections and Research Center, is in the heart of Chinatown on the second floor of the historic, century-old school building that was once Public School 23. For more information, visit

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Thursday: 11am-9pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
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The Museum is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, except for prescheduled group tours and special programs.

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MOCA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization supported by its members, individual donors, and by public and private funds.