Lee Mingwei’s The Travelers

When 20 Oct 2011 - 26 Mar 2012
Where Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013
United States
Enquiry 212 619 4785

Courtesy of the artist and Lombard Freid Projects, NY

October 20 2011 – March 26 2012

Press Release:

On the day of the Chinese Moon Festival, September 22, 2010, MOCA launched Lee Mingwei’s artist project, The Travelers. Lee custom-made 100 blank notebooks for the project. Released into the world from MOCA, the books will travel around the world for one year. The books are passed from person to person like a chain letter, with each participant adding a personal story about “leaving home” at some point in their lives. Did they have a call to adventure? Did they leave willingly? Did they overcome setbacks? Did they ever return home? Each book becomes a “Traveler” in the project, who leaves the MOCA “home village” to embark on a long journey.

The project was commissioned by MOCA to launch on the first anniversary of its new home at 215 Centre Street, designed by Maya Lin. Inspired by the museum’s mission to document the epic journey of Chinese to America, and the ongoing journeys we make as Americans, the project was envisioned to actively engage the public in the spirit of MOCA’s approach over the past 30 years as a “dialogic museum”.

Participants are asked to send the books back to MOCA by the next Moon Festival, on September 12, 2011. The books that make it back to the museum, each transformed by their individual journeys, will be displayed in an evocative installation by Lee Mingwei, with all the accumulated stories accessible for visitors to read. How many Travelers return home? What kinds of stories will they be filled with on their return?

A companion website to the project (http://traveler.mocanyc.org) tracks all the books as they travel around the world. Project participants are asked to upload the current geographical location of the books, and 5 images that illustrate the story they’ve written in the book.

For more information please click here.