Oral History Archive - Projects
Journey Wall

The Journey Wall is a custom art installation created for MOCA's lobby by renowned artist/designer Maya Lin. The wall is composed of bronze tiles through which Chinese Americans can permanently honor and remember their family roots. Each tile bears the name of an individual or family, their ancestral home, and current place of residence in America. The complete wall will highlight the expansiveness of the Chinese American Diaspora and the diversity of immigration stories from across the country - from artists to businessmen. The interviews in this collection are the stories of the Chinese American families that are part of the Journey Wall installation.

Number of interviews: 42

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2017.041.007 The Family Journey of Betty Lee Sung

Betty Lee Sung, MOCA Fourth Annual Celebration of Community Heroes Honoree, is an activist, author, and professor emeritus of City University of New York (CUNY). As a scholar of Asian American studies, her several publications on Asian American race issues have been recognized as an influential force in advancing the rights of Asian Americans and immigrants in the United States. Sung holds an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York Old Westbury. In the interview, she talked about her childhood, her school and education, family, career, her publication, and creation of the CUNY Asian American and Asian Research Institute (AAARI).

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2018.033.001 The Family Journey of Maxine Hong Kingston

This is an oral history interview with Maxine Hong Kinston on Nov 15th 2018 by Nancy Yao Maasbach for MOCA Legacy Award tribute video and a family journey. Maxine Hong Kingston born on October 27, 1940, is a Chinese American author and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with a BA in English in 1962. Kingston has written three novels and several works of non-fiction about the experiences of Chinese Americans. This interview talked about her family, parents, sibling, her childhood, her education, and her achievement as author and being a Chinese American, as well as her legacy to her granddaughter.

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2018.033.002 The Family Journey of Thomas C Ahn

Thomas C. Ahn is the current vice president of the Real Estate Division of Mount Sinai Hospital. He received MOCA 2018 Legacy Gala Award for his participation in the construction of the Central Street side of the museum, his service as a board member, and plenty of contributions to the community. In this interview Mr. Ahn discusses his childhood raising by a single mother, assimilation into American society, careers in gymnastics, engineering, construction, and real estate, and his participation and contributions to MOCA and the Chinese American community.

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2018.033.003 The Family Journey of General Wen Ying Hsing

Harriet Tung, the grand daughter of Lt. General Ying Hsing Wen, discusses life of her grandfather life and his lasting legacy. Lt. Gen. Ying Tsing Wen (b. 1887), MOCA 2018 Legacy Awards Gala honoree, enriched the U.S. China relationship as a critical time given what seemed to be irreparable damage caused by the Boxer Rebellion. After becoming the first Asian graduate of West Point Military Academy in 1909, he returned to China and served in military and civilian positions in the Republican government. His life in the U.S. began representing China as a cadet at West point but his experience there undoubtedly shaped his outlook as he did his part to change China from a feudal to modern country.

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2018.033.004 The Family Journey of Nancy C. Lee JP

Nancy C. Lee, JP, distinguished arts and education philanthropist. MOCA 2018 Legacy Awards Gala honoree, Chairman of the non-profit organization Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of art, discusses her life journey to become an arts historian. She recounts her family journey that spanned from China to Latin American, the US, and finally Hong Kong. She also discusses the importance of art and philanthropy.

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2018.033.005 The Family Journey of Richard and Jane Liu

Richard and Jane Liu briefly talk about their early lives in China and Taiwan. Richard discusses his time working for a newspaper in Taiwan before moving to NY to work as an editor for a newspaper in Chinatown. The two further discuss their thoughts on child rearing and the current political climate of country for Chinese Americans.

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2019.038.001 The Family Journey of Mae Yih

Mae Yih, MOCA 2019 Legacy Awards Honoree, is an internationally esteemed and admired legislator who made history 43 years ago when she won a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives as the first Chinese American elected to a state legislature anywhere in the United States. As a revered public official, Ms. Yih served 26 years in the legislature after she had served on the board of two local schools for 13 years, a total of 39 years of outstanding public services. Her many accomplishments in the State of Oregon include introducing and helping to pass legislation that created a sister-state relationship between Oregon and Fujian province in China. She has made a significant impact in the development of U.S.-China relations for more than three decades. Her book, titled East Meets West: A Bridge to Understanding, Friendship, Trust, Peace, and Prosperity Between My Mother and Adopted Countries, shares her experiences and powerful lessons that she learned from life in China, America, and public services. Through her public services path until today, Mae Yih has always followed the words of Millicent Carey McIntosh, a former president of Barnard College: “use your education and be involved in the decision-making process for the benefit of your community.”

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2019.038.002 The Family Journey of Patrick and Rita Lee March 2019

Rita and Patrick Lee are first-generation Chinese Americans. In this interview, they address memories including Patrick’s journey from Hong Kong to America, the development of Patrick’s financial career, his business philosophy, their parenting philosophy, and their Chinese identity. They also bring family photos to the interview and give a short description to each of them.

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2019.038.003 The Family Journey of Margaret Lam

Margaret Lam, MOCA 8th Annual Celebration of Community Heroes Honoree in 2019, distinguished philanthropist and Vice President of the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce. Margaret talks about growing up in Hong Kong and her journey to the US. She goes on to discuss her assimilation into American culture and how she went about bringing together the NJ Chinese community.

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2019.038.004 The Family Journey of Tzi Ma

Tzi Ma, pioneering actor whose stage/TV/film performances have delighted audiences worldwide, challenged Hollywood stereotypes and broken down barriers for Asian American/Pacific Islanders. MOCA 2019 Legacy Awards Gala honoree, talks about growing up on Staten Island and working in his parent’s restaurant. He goes on to discuss how he got into theater during grade school and how it drove his acting career. The conversation progresses to his acts of activism during his teens and his association with progressive organizations such as the Black Panthers and the Students for a Democratic Society. He further elaborates on his career and discusses Asian representation in Hollywood.

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