PaperCity Magazine

August 2013 - Houston

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Doubleheader for Our International and Art Sets Honorary chair Muffet Blake John Bradshaw Jr. Yasufumi Nakamori Asia Society Texas Center toasts year one. CATHERINE D. ANSPON AND MATTHEW RAMIREZ REPORT FROM TANIGUCHI CENTRAL. PHOTOGRAPHY JENNY ANTILL. Jo Furr Alton LaDay Chair Divya Brown Y. Ping Sun David Leebron DJ Kalkutta Judy Nyquist Nancy Allen Clinking Cocktails Along the Silk Road A Jim Furr Jonathon Glus DJ Sun dazzling evening brought together young, hip, old-guard, artistic, aristocratic, glamorous, raucous and elegant, all under the same roof — which, incidentally, boasts a water element that constantly generates mist — at Asia Society Texas Center. Would you expect anything less from a $50 million Yoshio Taniguchi-designed creation? The second annual springtime gala, produced in tandem with Zulu Creative, Spotlight Asia: Cocktails and Cultural Fusions had a triptych of chair couples, Divya and Chris Brown, Claire Cormier Thielke and Rick Thielke, and Janae and Kenny Tsai, who implored guests to "Travel the Silk Road" via the evening's theme. Triniti Restaurant and Bar, Boheme Chair and Nosh Bistro offered appropriate bites; in a separate lounge, Glen Gondo and Chris Brown Sushic served signature sushi, while the Texas Sake Company provided generous tastes of the only organic sake crafted in Texas. A Traders Oasis by Yelp set up shop at the museum's breathtaking second floor and balcony. The serene skyline view was an apt setting for a sip of herbal tea, a pull from a pipe via Texas Hookah Lounge and decorative henna body art by The Original Henna Company. An atmospheric set from Houston's own DJ Sun was the prelude for a rambunctious appearance from internationally celebrated DJ Kalkutta, who kept travelers on their toes with an impressive range of music far past midnight. The diverse crowd embodied the museum's "Hapa" exhibit then on view, a meditation on mixed-race — especially the Asian-American experience. On the road: Lindley and Jason Arnoldy, newly minted acting executive director John Bradshaw Jr., Patsy Yoon Brown, Jennifer and Steve Dolman, Nick Espinosa and Carlos Chair Meltzer, Olivia Junell, Caroline and Jared Gina Chair Bhatia LeBlanc, Lindsey Brown, Margaret McHattie, Devinder Bhatia Neera Patidar with Nimesh Bhakta, Mary and Ben Patton, Christie's Jessica Phifer, and benefactress extraordinaire Nancy Allen. Craig Massey Tatiana Massey Dorothee Helfenstein Chair Rick Thielke Josef Helfenstein Betty Newton Chair Claire Cormier Thielke Susie Criner Stephen Newton Neera Patidar Nimesh Bhakta Brittany Sakowitz Kevin Kushner Mandy Bredbenner George Strake Annette Strake Jim Daniel A Roaring Time at the Tiger Ball Weeks later, ball gowns, tuxes and saris came out when Tiger Ball roared to life. The exquisite international evening, which showcased Asia Society's pan-Asian vision, unfurled at the museum's handsome limestone-clad HQ, which is also Yoshio Taniguchi's first free-standing building in America and one of the big architectural stories of 2012. Gala chairmen Gina and Devinder Bhatia, attired in splendid Indian threads, welcomed more than 500 art patrons and members of our town's exploding international brigade. Joined by honorary chairs Muffet Blake and Sheela and Ashok Rao (honorary chairs Sheida and Mohammad Etminan were not able to attend), the night segued from cocktails alfresco and sushi bites by Glen Gondo to a Jackson and Company-devised seated repast choreographed to take place in one of six locations throughout beautiful Taniguchi Central. The East-West menu reached its crescendo with five-spice duck breast alongside teriyaki filet mignon of Angus beef. Cross-cultural musicians graced each dining nook — from sitar players to chords from a Filipino folk guitar. Late night, DJ Sun once again did a PA, while the Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall turned into a dance floor. Among the global notables bringing down the house and generating $650,000 for Asia Society's future offerings: Carolyn and Jimmy Robertson; Carolyn Farb; Heidi and David Gerger; Margaret Williams, squired by Jim Daniel; Duyen Huynh in a sculptural cherry fascinator from Laboratoria, with husband Marc Nguyen and pals Tatiana and Craig Massey; Leigh and Reggie Smith; Shushana and Jack Castle (their Telluride Montainfilm Festival was held at Asia Society earlier this spring); Judy Nyquist, in dialogue with MFAH photo curator Yasufumi Nakamori; Andrea and Bill White; board chair Charles Foster and wife Lily; Rice U's Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron; and The Menil Collection's Josef Helfenstein with landscape architect wife Dorothee. Margaret Williams Jack Castle Shushana Castle Carlos Meltzer Nick Espinosa Jason Walker Adela Uchida Duyen Huynh Marc Nguyen Rachel Walton Hasti Taghi Maria Vilchez Chair Kenny Tsai Chair Janae Tsai

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