The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is located in Chinatown and we missed it’s entrance passing by it, thinking it was a restaurant. The museum space is thoughtfully designed, it has beautiful deem lighting, very nice bathrooms and is wheelchair accessible. I enjoyed coming in as the AC was set on perfect temperature and I felt welcomed by the staff (though my student ID didn’t give me a free pass, only discount).
The museum had only a few other visitors (we came in one hour before closing) and most of them seemed to be mature with Asian origins. The permanent exhibition gives out a lot of information and I felt over stimulated, it was hard to focus my attention and choose what to learn about. It felt cluttered with images and captains.
There were a few installation with sound. Sometimes the sound overlapped between the exhibit’s spaces. One video was not working and a big piece of paper covered it with Out of Order sign, I thought it would have been better to just cover the captain instead, to attract less attention to the fault.
Particularly I loved the installation room which looked like a real store, and had a big window to the street, thought it was unique and cool.
Stage Design by Ming Cho Lee was the temporary exhibition and had a few Caucasian mature visitors exploring it. At first glanced the room looked cluttered and busy, but then when walking by the works, each took it’s own space. The room was divided in way that allowed seeing one work at a time.
I really enjoyed the designs and loved the preliminary sketches, and sometimes pictures from the actual stage performances which accompanied the models. Also the lighting was excellent and brought the models to life.
Finally the exhibition had a great catalogue, which gave interesting information and was beautifully made.
The MOCA’s website is helpful and post it’s opening time & location on it’s homepage, so there is not need to go and look for it. There is a virtual tour of the museum which I tried, but didn’t work so well. The design of the website doesn’t deliver a similar feeling as the actual museum space, it looks a bit more dated.
I liked the exhibition size and the lighting of the space. There was a cozy feeling to it, yet it also felt pretty well designed.