Two Exhibitions at Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Exploring New York “Chinatown: Beyond the Streets”


Press Preview: Thursday, December 12, 10:00a.m. – 11:30a.m.

[New York, NY] December 2 2013 -The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is pleased to announce the launch of two new exhibitions revealing New York “Chinatown: Beyond the Streets”, and exploring the connection between people and lived spaces within this neighborhood. A Floating Population by Annie Ling and Portraits of New York Chinatown by Tomie Arai will be on view from December 13, 2013 through April 13, 2014.


Through socially-engaged art and photography, both exhibitions offer momentary access to the internal, private worlds within the lived spaces of New York Chinatown. A Floating Population features over 80 photographs by Annie Ling, composed of four sections: “81 Bowery,” “Shut-Ins,” “Tenements,” and “A Floating Population.” More than documentary snapshots, each image poses narrative and emotional depth, rejecting the stereotypes and surface impressions that personify the Manhattan Chinatown neighborhood.


Herb Tam, curator and MOCA’s Director of Exhibitions said, “As Manhattan Chinatown undergoes rapid transformation due to real estate development and demographic shifts, MOCA as a cultural anchor within the community, felt compelled to capture this fleeting contemporary moment in Chinatown through its untold stories and memories.”


In Portraits of New York Chinatown, a MOCA-commissioned project, artist Tomie Arai explores the ever-present issues of gentrification and displacement. Her composite portrait of Chinatown involves a complex blend of oral history, screen printing, and personal artifacts selected by the artist and her subjects. The culmination of four years of research through oral histories with long-time Chinatown residents, Tomie Arai’s installation will present a story of a neighborhood experiencing gentrification wholly, while presenting alternative historical records as a galaxy of places, people, and events.


Public Program
In conjunction with the two exhibitions, on Saturday, December 14th (2-4 pm), MOCA will present an artist talk featuring a conversation between Annie Ling and Tomie Arai on the influences of belonging, gentrification, and community engagement impacting their art and life. The talk will be moderated by Herb Tam, Curator and Director of Exhibitions.

About the Artists

Born in Taipei, Annie Ling is a Canadian artist and documentary photographer based in New York City. Ling is a contract photographer for The New York Times, and her work has appeared in publications such as GEO Magazine, Courrier International, FADER Magazine, New York Magazine, PDN Photo Annual, American Photography, Magenta Flash Forward: Emerging Photographers, among others. Her work was recently exhibited in the 2011 Gwangju Biennale: Unnamed Design, curated by Ai WeiWei in Gwangju, South Korea and the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hannover, Germany. She recently received a New York foundation for the Arts 2013 Fellowship for Photography.

Tomie Arai is an artist and community activist who was born and raised in New York City. She has exhibited extensively across the U.S. including Museum of Modern Art, PS1 Museum/Institute of Contemporary Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Tomie has been the recipient of numerous public art commissions for sites across the country, including New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Seattle. Among other awards and grants, Arai received the Anonymous Was A Woman Award in 1997, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant Award in 1994, the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship for Works on Paper in 1993, and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Printmaking in 1991.


These exhibitions are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (Museums Program), celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support for A Floating Population: Chinatown Photographs by Annie Ling is provided by Con Edison. Additional support for Portraits of New York Chinatown is provided by the Asian Women Giving Circle and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.

About Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)


MOCA’s mission is to celebrate the living history of the Chinese experience in America, to inspire our diverse communities to contribute to America’s evolving cultural narrative and civil society, and to empower and bridge our communities across generations, ethnicities and geography through our dynamic stories.


For more info and upcoming events, please visit


Monday – Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – 11am-6pm
Thursday – 11am-9pm
Target Free Thursdays: Free gallery admission is through the generosity of Target.


General Admission: $10
Seniors (65+ with ID) and Students (w/school ID): $5
Children under 12 in groups less than 8: Free
MOCA Members: Free