Building an impactful identity and sense of home for Sydney’s latest cultural institution.
The beginning of a new chapter for Chinese Australians
MOCA (the Museum of Chinese in Australia) is a new museum based in Haymarket, adjacent to Sydney’s Chinatown, due to open in 2023. MOCA began as a conversation over dinner when its founders recognised a need for a representative space for Australia’s largest Chinese Australian community. They were further galvanised by the events of the past few years and the subsequent impact of divisive rhetoric on the Asian community. Businesses closed and tourism declined, putting the rich cultural legacy of Australia’s oldest Chinatown at risk.
We were asked to build a brand for the museum that could establish MOCA as a trusted voice for the Chinese Australian community, to inspire and engage audiences, and strengthen Australia’s cultural diversity.
Bringing the past, present and future together under one roof, to create a home for all
Centering around the idea of home, MOCA combines the physical and digital to become a space for cultural exchange. Our logo is born from the roof radical 宀, a Kangxi character used in the Chinese word for ‘home’ . This formed the basis of the system – a dynamic frame, constantly adapting to house content – past, present, future. This is the home of Chinese Australian stories and a museum for all.
The digital presence collects crowdsourced content through the Stories of Home online exhibition. The resulting collection of stories will put the spotlight on the contemporary experiences of a long-standing community that’s integral to Australia’s social fabric, while building connection, promoting engagement and providing a platform for fundraising for the museum.
Where identity meets community to create long-term impact
Shattering misconceptions isn’t an overnight fix, but at MOCA, it’s a process grounded in reframing the cultural narrative through shared stories.
Already, our collaboration has garnered national attention. Within two weeks of launch, the number of unique visitors to the new site was at 36% of the 2021 total. We’ve seen coverage from national outlets including Time Out and Broadsheet, and most excitingly, already received a government grant of $2.28m to fund the building’s transformation. And this is only the beginning.