Introducing the Museum of Chinese in Australia. A home for stories – the monumental, the everyday, the untold, the celebrated, the forgotten. Throw out everything you know about museums and step into a space that brings past, present and future together in one place. This is more than a museum. This is a space for the stories and contributions of Chinese Australians. Opening in 2024, MOCA will be a space for all Australians to celebrate our strength in diversity.
PAST / PRESENT / FUTUREChinatown then, now and tomorrow.
Stories of Home 家
Although our pop-up has ended, we’d love to hear your story. What does home mean to you? Is it tied to a place, a time, a memory? No matter what our race, religion or place of birth we all have a story of home. Share yours and it may become part of a future exhibition at MOCA.
From June to September 2022, MOCA’s doors were opened to give visitors a chance to see the building before it transformed. They were also the first to glimpse of our vision for the museum during our interactive pop-up.
What is home? Is it a place? A country? Or is it something else entirely? Maybe it’s the sense of ease you feel with certain people, or a memory you hold on to. Tell us your story of home. Answer a few quick questions and your story might come to life in our digital and physical exhibition spaces.
And if you need a bit of inspiration, take a look at the stories below to see what home means to some of Sydney’s Chinese Australian trailblazers.
From concept to creation, so much has gone into the making of MOCA. Without the collaboration of so many amazing people coming together to brainstorm, plan, design, and shape our organisation and the identity that encapsulates this, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
OUR BRANDThe roof radical 宀 is one of 47,035 characters that make up the Kangxi dictionary. As the original protection radical, it takes a pictogram form, depicting a wooden roof with supports. You'll see it used in the words for ‘home’, ‘safe’, ‘ancestor’ and ‘treasure’, among others. In our logo, it acts as a constantly changing roof, connecting to why MOCA exists – to create an ever-evolving house of stories: ours, yours, the ones that came before and the ones that will follow.
OUR MAKERSOur development process has been made possible by the talent and collective passion of many. From the beginning, listening to the perspectives of the community was crucial to our conception, with these conversations only furthering our drive. Fast forward to today, and our team continues to grow as we’re met with the expertise of so many collaborators to reimagine our brand and transform our building. Now, what started as an idea between friends is being brought to life in front of our eyes.
Daphne Lowe Kelley, Board member. Pictured here (in red) with the Leanfore family in a story for The New York Times.
MOCA started as a conversation between passionate Sydneysiders around the dinner table. Today, it’s a space alive with cultural exchange, and the only museum in NSW focused on Chinese Australian stories – past, present, future. Never finished, constantly evolving. We’re building a bridge for deeper connection and understanding. MOCA is more than a museum; it’s a place for everyone, rich in opportunity.
To tell the stories of past, present and future generations of Chinese Australians, by being a centre for research, preservation and exchange; ensuring their experience is representative within a broader national discourse.
MOCA is headed by our CEO Tony Stephens and our board; Daphne Lowe Kelley (Chair), Yin Cao, Joanna Capon, Adam Liaw, Marcus Lim, Cathy Guo and Ann Toy who together, ensure MOCA is constantly evolving and living up to its full potential.
Situated on a prominent corner alongside the Haymarket tram stop, amid the buzz of the city and Chinatown, MOCA is physically and figuratively, embedded in the community.
1875 Haymarket Chambers Bank
1927 Neighbourhood shops
1989 Haymarket Library
2023 Museum of Chinese in Australia
PAST744 George St Haymarket / Kerry and Co, c. 1884-1917
FUTURE744 George St Haymarket / A+ Architects, 2023