MoMA sees 49% rise in visits by Chinese tourists
Efforts by New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to accommodate Chinese travelers have paid off with a 49 percent increase in Chinese visitors for fiscal year 2016, and a 218 percent increase in Chinese visitors over the last five years.
“During my 20 years’ observation at MoMA, I have definitely seen major efforts on bringing more diversity to the museum. Our Chinese visitors are growing every year,” said Meagan Johnson, director of membership and visitor services at MoMA.
As Chinese travelers continue to select New York City as a top destination, the museum has been making itself as “China ready” as possible, which has included celebrating the Chinese New Year with a special afterhours tour, curating more China-related exhibitions and interacting more with Chinese media.
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, MoMA will be holding an evening tour of the permanent collection on Feb 2 at 5:30 pm.
The after-hours tour of works that employ the most important aspects of the Chinese New Year will focus on themes of red and gold and the circle as a symbol of completion, unity, wholesomeness and prosperity.
“This will be a special guided tour of the gallery. Visitors get to enjoy the museum exclusively and celebrate the Year of the Rooster with our precious collection of artworks,” Johnson said.
MoMA is also acknowledging the size of its Chinese audience by curating more China- related exhibitions.
“We have an international program devoted to connecting MoMA to an international network of artists, scholars, and institutions,” said Carly McCloskey, assistant director of tourism sales and marketing.
The next Night at the Museum program at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, on Jan 27 will celebrate the Lunar New Year by featuring projections highlighting 25 years of firework events by famed artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who had his first US studio at MoMA PS1. The entire museum will be open until midnight.
“We have an ongoing mission to encourage understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that we serve,” McCloskey said.
As part of being “China ready”, the museum is also dedicated to interacting more with Chinese media to make the museum more well-known with the Chinese community in New York and abroad.
“We are the first museum in New York City to have official WeChat and Weibo accounts,” McCloskey said.
The accounts are home to detailed information about the collection, special exhibitions and events.
Judy Zhu in New York contributed to this story.