Past Exhibitions

  • Portraits of New York Chinatown
    Fri, Dec 13, 2013 - Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    Portraits of New York Chinatown was initiated as an oral history project by artist Tomie Arai and scholar Lena Sze as MOCA prepared to move into its current home in 2009. The project addressed the vital question of MOCA’s own role within the communities of Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo through interviews with 27 neighborhood residents and community leaders. At the core of these conversations were the ever-present concerns of gentrification and displacement. Out of this material, Arai developed interpretive ‘portraits’ based on the content of the interviews.




  • Front Row: Chinese American Designers
    Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - Sun, Dec 1, 2013

    Front Row traces and celebrates the rise of Chinese American designers who decided to make their marks in New York. In the 1980s, designers such as Anna Sui, Yeohlee Teng, Vera Wang and Vivienne Tam emerged in the New York fashion scene just as the city was transforming its identity from a garment center into one of the fashion capitals of the world. Curiously, the growth of New York’s Chinatown, the preponderance of Chinese manufacturers (tailors and seamstresses) in the city’s garment district, and the increased outsourcing of garment manufacturing to China, occurred alongside the rapid growth of fashion’s creative industries and a broader shift towards creative driven production in New York.

  • Shanghai Glamour: New Women 1910s-40s
    Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - Sun, Nov 3, 2013

    Shanghai Glamour explores how Shanghai women and their fashionable dress epitomized the seduction and mystery of this legendary city as it was modernizing in the early 20th century. Shanghai was established as a treaty port in the nineteenth century and became a major modern metropolis by the 1920s, internationally known as “the Paris of the East.

    Special thanks to

    The New York Observer and YUE

    Official media sponsors of Front Row and Shanghai Glamour:

  • Marvels and Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 and Alt.Comics: Asian American Artists Reinvent the Comic
    Thu, Sep 27, 2012 - Sun, Feb 24, 2013

    The Museum of Chinese in America launched two connected exhibitions on the relationship between Asian Americans and comics: Marvels and Monsters examines stereotypical and politically charged depictions of Asians and Asian Americans, while Alt.Comics presents Asian Americans using the medium to craft and present their own narratives.

  • America through a Chinese Lens
    Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - Sun, Sep 9, 2012

    America through a Chinese Lens surveys photography of American life as shot by contemporary Chinese and Chinese American artists, documentary photographers and non-professionals, identifying the specific ways in which the Chinese have used the camera to see this country - its beauty, contradictions, and realities. The exhibition spans many generations of photographers: contemporary artists who use the medium as well as snapshots taken by new immigrants from the 1950s to today which have been selected from MOCA’s permanent collection. During the run of the show, new media artist and design strategist An Xiao will be shooting and posting photographs regularly as she travels throughout the west and southwest, offering a live visual essay about her America on our tumblr page:

  • Lee Mingwei: The Travelers and The Quartet Project
    Thu, Oct 20, 2011 - Mon, Mar 26, 2012

    For over a decade, Taiwan born American artist Lee Mingwei has been at the forefront of an artistic impulse that has gained traction in recent years: participatory art. This fall, MOCA will present a solo exhibition of Lee, including two of his participation-based projects, The Travelers, a MOCA commission, and The Quartet Project.