For AsiaWeek, A Dynamic Kickoff

An elegant dinner at Guastavino's, overseen by Chef Michael Bao Huynh, was one highlight of the evening. (Elsa Ruiz/Asia Society)
An elegant dinner at Guastavino's, overseen by Chef Michael Bao Huynh, was one highlight of the evening. (Elsa Ruiz/Asia Society)

NEW YORK, March 22, 2010 - Under vibrant gold and red silk lanterns and décor inspired by images highlighting the richness and history of ancient Vietnam, Asia Society launched Asia Week New York with its festive gala benefit Celebration of Asia Week: AllThingsArtASIA. Globally acclaimed fashion and technology designer Vivienne Tam once again served as Honorary Chair for the evening alongside Tony-Award winning actor BD Wong and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Mira Nair.

The evening began with a posh cocktail reception sponsored by Bao & Company and Suntory where guests savored the Vietnamese culinary delights of Chef Michael Bao Huynh while enjoying the eclectic sounds of renowned ensemble Music From China and flutist Shoji Mizumoto of the Musica Bella Orchestra.  Collectors enjoyed a private viewing of the Museum's exhibitions Arts of Ancient Viet Nam: From River Plain to Open Sea and Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art and bid on stunning couture outfits designed by Thuy Diep, Han Feng, Alia Khan, Auguste Soesastro, and Vivienne Tam.   

Festivities continued at NYC interior landmark Guastavino's for an elegant dinner overseen by Chef Huynh with dessert by notable pastry chef Pichet Ong. Sotheby's auctioneer Henry Howard-Sneyd led a lively auction with exciting lots consisting of exotic and romantic getaways to Vietnam, Thailand, and Hong Kong, as well as an exclusive "Butterfly Lovers" package by Vivienne Tam, HP & Monster, and a cocktail party for 20 catered by Chef Chase Tinio of Morimoto. The party continued with high-spirited dancing by all to live jazz, salsa, and mambo music by WeGroove, a rhythm band formed by Sony Innovator awardee and acclaimed jazz saxophonist Teodross Avery

The event was made possible by support from Benefit Chairs John and Stephanie Foster, Ruth and Hal Newman, and Lulu Wang. Co-chairs were comprised of James Chin, Betsy & Ed Cohen, Lisina Hoch, Ida Liu, Leon & Cynthia Hazen Polsky, Mrs. Arthur Ross, and HSBC Bank.  Some of the many special guests in attendance included Gale Harold, David Henry Hwang, Bernard Kalb, Fay Ann Lee, Fern Mallis, Alice Schroeder, Guy Trebay, New York City Comptroller John Liu, and Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative, Mission of Vietnam to the U.N. 

Related coverage:
New York Times Styles by Bill Cunningham, 3/28/10
New York Social Diary
Manhattan Society
Coverage from a fashion blogger
Haute Living Blog
Panache Privee