Press Release (09/22/10): The Museum of Chinese in America Celebrates One-Year Anniversary in New Home

The Museum of Chinese in America Celebrates One-Year Anniversary in New Home


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“The Travelers,” MOCA Commissioned Project Launches on Anniversary, Set to Return Home for the Chinese Moon Festival 2011

Special Exhibition “Both Here and There: Yale-China and a Century of Transformative Encounters” Explores Cross-Cultural Exchange Between the U.S. And China


Jundy and Tin An Cheng Salon and Exhibition Space Presents “Chinatown POV: Reflections on September 11th”


September 22, 2010, New York, NY – One year ago, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) opened at its new location at 215 Centre Street. This month, MOCA blows out its first candle on September 22, 2010 with exciting events highlighting the Museum’s continued dedication to preserving and presenting the history and culture of people of Chinese descent in the United States. In honor of the anniversary, which coincides auspiciously with the Chinese Moon Festival, the Museum welcomes visitors with complimentary admission from 11:00AM-5:00PM on Wednesday, September 22 (a day the institution is typically closed to the public) as well as the launch of “The Travelers” project (see below for details). Museum visitors will be treated to mooncakes. In addition, the Museum has collaborated with Yale-China Association to explore the cross-cultural exchange between China and the United States with the special exhibition “Both Here and There: Yale-China and a Century of Transformative Encounters.” The Museum is also proud to present “Chinatown POV; Reflections on September 11th,” a thought-provoking exhibition of voices from the neighborhood.


“We at the Museum of Chinese in America are proud of our first year and view it as a great success,” said Chair of MOCA’s Board of Trustees Jonathan Ligh, M.D. “Building on our mission to document and preserve the history of our Chinese American heritage, our new and engaging programs have served the local communities and enhanced the national understanding of the history of the Chinese in America.”


"Last September, we embarked on a new beginning in our new home, designed by Maya Lin, to further the dialogue on the history and identity of Chinese Americans,” said S. Alice Mong, Director of MOCA. “In one short year, MOCA has broadened this conversation through innovative and interconnected programming, reaching over three-times the audience from its previous incarnation and quadrupling our former membership. We continue to be thankful to our Board of Trustees, to the City and State of New York, the federal government, and to our wonderful donors, foundation and corporate collaborators for their enduring support.”

MOCA’s First Steps


During MOCA’s first year in the new space, it has produced large-scale serial programming. These new series include, but are not limited to, Family Festivals, Cultural Awareness Programs, Young Professional’s Experience and Exchange Panels, Author Talks, Gallery and Neighborhood Walking tours, and other special events. MOCA has proudly hosted scholars and historians, chefs, film makers, fashion designers and business leaders to speak at the Museum. By bringing these programs to the community, MOCA remains culturally relevant and on the cutting edge of diverse disciplines.


In addition to expanding onsite programming and digital experiences, the Museum is also utilizing its physical spaces in new and creative ways. “The Jundy and Tin An Cheng Salon’s original function was to be a reading room and a place where visitors could submit their stories to StoryMap, MOCA’s collection of Chinese American stories and images from across the U.S.” Cynthia Lee, Curator and Director of Exhibition explains, “In an effort to make use of every inch of our new space, we are now presenting smaller temporary exhibitions in the Salon on topics of special interest.”


Dialogic MOCA: “The Travelers”
Commissioned by MOCA on its 30th anniversary, “The Travelers” project is inspired by the epic journey of the Chinese coming to America and their subsequent journeys as Americans. Beginning on the day of the Moon Festival on September 22, 2010, artist Lee Mingwei’s 100 custom-made notebooks will be released into the world from MOCA. The books are passed from person to person like a chain letter, with each participant adding a personal story about “leaving home” at some point in their lives. Did they have a call to adventure? Did they leave willingly? Did they overcome setbacks? Did they ever return home? Each book becomes a “Traveler” in the project, who leaves the MOCA “home village” to embark on a long journey. All returned Travelers will become part of Lee’s artist installation at MOCA in November 2011.


Current Special Exhibition in the Bloomberg Gallery: "Both Here and There: Yale-China and a Century of Transformative Encounters"
MOCA explores the hundred-year history of the Yale-China Association and the personal narratives behind its long history of cross-cultural exchange. The exhibition includes personal accounts, images, and artifacts that together explore the profound power of grassroots exchange on communities, cultures, and individuals an ocean apart. "Both Here and There," organized by Yale-China, will be on view at MOCA from September 2 through October 11, 2010.

New MOCA Salon Exhibition: “Chinatown POV: Reflections on September 11th”
MOCA presents first-person accounts, photographs, and mixed-media artwork reflecting voices from a neighborhood just ten blocks away from Ground Zero. Shortly after the tragic events of September 11th, MOCA began collecting community photo-documentation, studies, reports, artwork, and ephemera related to Chinatown and its recovery. Where are we now? How have we been impacted as individuals, and as a community? Have we recovered? And where do we go from here? Visitors to the Museum will be invited to submit their own memories and reflections.


Core Exhibition: “With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America”
MOCA’s core exhibition presents the diverse layers of the Chinese American experience while examining America’s journey as a nation of immigrants—an overview of Chinese in the United States from the 19th century to the present, individual stories that reveal what it has meant to be Chinese in America over time, and the physical traces and images of past generations left for us to consider, reflect on, and reclaim.

MOCA’s Next Steps


Chinese Cinema Club at MOCA
MOCA and dGenerate Films announces the launch of Chinese Cinema Club, a film series screening Chinese and Chinese American film to be held at MOCA on the first Friday of every other month. The Club kicks off on Friday, October 1, 7 pm with Fujian Blue, an award-winning feature film debut directed by Robin Weng, followed by a Q&A with Patrick Radden Keefe, author of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream.


Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind
MOCA invites visitors to explore the intellectual, historical, aesthetic, and cultural dimensions of puzzles with an exhibition of antique games from China. “Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind” will showcase over 100 objects from the Song dynasty through the mid-20th century. With contemporary reproductions available for hands-on visitor participation, Chinese Puzzles will be engaging for everyone from small children to experienced puzzle masters, and from designers to historians to mathematicians. The exhibition will open on November 6 and will remain on view in MOCA’s Bloomberg Special Exhibitions Gallery through February 28, 2011.


MOCA’s History
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, 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 (which will continue to be used for archives and collections) 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

Monday: 11am-5pm
Thursday: 11am-9pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am-5pm
The Museum is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, except for prescheduled group tours and special programs.

General Admission: $7
Seniors (65+ with ID) and
Students (w/school ID): $4
Children under 12 in groups less than 8: Free
MOCA Members: Free
Target Free Thursdays: Free gallery admission every Thursday through the generosity of Target

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

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Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

Carolyn Antonio
212.619.4785 ext.4141
Sophia Ma
212.619.4785 ext. 4159