MoMA sees 49% rise in vis­its by Chi­nese tourists

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By CHINA DAILY in New York

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.

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