About the Journey Wall

This customized art installation by Maya Lin pays tribute to individuals and families of Chinese heritage who journeyed from homes far away to the United States. The Journey Wall figures prominently in MOCA to serve as a bridge between the past and the present, the local and the national. It honors the personal journeys and legacies of people of Chinese descent in America. It is a place for the stories of the Chinese American diaspora. Each dedication of a tile comes with a recording of the family’s oral history that will live in the museum’s archives. Funds raised through the Journey Wall sustain MOCA’s mission.

What are the size and weight details of the wall and each tile?

The Journey Wall measures 11 feet by 21 feet with 240 tiles. Each tile measures 9 inches by 16 inches. Each tile weighs 7 pounds.

What are the tier levels for the Journey Wall?

The Journey Wall has three tiers:

  • $10,000
  • $15,000
  • $25,00

Please see Journey Wall diagram for layout.

How many tiles are there in total?

There are 240 tiles in total.

How many have been named?

143 tiles have been named.

How many remain available?

97 remain unnamed.

What is entailed in the naming of a tile?

Once a dedication decision has been made. MOCA staff will work with the donor to:

  1. Confirm registration
  2. Process donation
  3. Tile design and fabrication
  4. Record oral history
  5. Dedication ceremony

What is in the inscription of the tile?

MOCA staff will provide a sample of the tile and work with the donor on the final layout. Each tile contains the family surname in Chinese (one character), with the individual name(s) being honored and the place of origin and current place of residence. Please see the Journey Wall tile design for examples.

What is the timeline from submitting inscription material to viewing the tile installed on the Journey Wall?

We recommend a total of at least 12 weeks. The process for fabrication can take up to 8 weeks from final approval of design to fabrication and then installation of the tile on the Journey Wall. We also batch the fabrication of the tiles to save costs. Therefore, we request that donors considering a Journey Wall tile add an additional 4 weeks to their timeline, especially if they are considering a private ceremony or visit upon installation of their tile.

When is the oral history recording scheduled?

Our team will be in touch to schedule an oral history recording once your tile has been submitted for fabrication. If you are based in NYC, we will schedule an in-person interview at the museum. If you are unavailable for an in-person interview, we will schedule an interview over video call to obtain the oral history recording. At the discretion of the donor, the recording can be made public and part of our archives or be kept private for personal use. This collection of oral histories lives in our permanent archives and is made accessible to researchers from around the world.

Will there be a dedication ceremony?

MOCA hosts group dedication ceremonies twice a year depending on demand and availability: once in the summer and another at the end of the year. MOCA staff will be in contact with donors to confirm a preference. Individuals and families who want a more private option are welcome to visit the museum during operating hours when the installation has been completed for a viewing.

Can someone who is not of Chinese descent name a tile on the Journey Wall?

MOCA welcome those who are not of Chinese descent to dedicate a tile to a family or friend who is of Chinese descent to honor their legacy.

What will happen to the tiles when the new building is completed?

The plan for the Journey Wall in the new building will be three times larger. As part of the original founders of the Journey Wall, the tiles in the current wall will be transferred and upgraded one level in the new building. Meaning, those at the 10K level will be upgraded to the 15K placement level, 15K to 25K placement level, those in the 25K tier level will receive a prime sightline location.

For more information, please contact our development office at development@mocanyc.org