Past Exhibitions

  • The Lee Family 1930
    Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - Sun, Jul 6, 2014

    The Lee Family of New York Chinatown Since 1888 showcases Harold L. Lee and Sons, Inc., a cornerstone of Chinatown. Founded in 1888, this year marks the company’s 125th anniversary. MOCA will present a selection of photographs and artifacts from the business, tracing its rise from a small foreign exchange business to national insurance brokerage. The exhibition will take place in MOCA’s recreated general store: a space fashioned to represent an old New York storefront with tin ceilings, built-in wooden cabinets, and brick walls.

  • A Floating Population
    Fri, Dec 13, 2013 - Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    In A Floating Population, photographer Annie Ling uses her camera as an entry point to establish a deep connection with the people and spaces of Chinatown. Ling, who photographs for the New York Times, rejects the stereotypes and surface impressions that characterize so many images of the neighborhood. She spends time with those she photographs - immigrants and the elderly - both alone and with their families, photographing them with intimacy and complexity. MOCA will be presenting four bodies of her work: “81 Bowery” (selections of which were published in the New York Times), “Shut-Ins”, “Tenements”, and "A Floating Population."



  • 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.