At Asia Society – An Asian Garden of Many Delights
Every year as surely as Spring comes to New York, the colorful Spring Gala comes to Asia Society in celebration of the Asia Week when all the galleries, museums and auction houses celebrate Asian art with exhibitions and events for an entire week. The Spring Gala benefit is the fabulous start to a week steeped in all the delights of Asian art. So it’s not surprising that the gala at 583 Park Avenue turned into a garden of rainbow hues, of women in kimonos, sarees and cheongsams. Nowadays, the men are no less in their sherwanis and Chinese jackets!
Benefit Chairs Stephanie and John Foster and Lulu and Anthony Wang, mingled with the noted guests from the worlds of arts, fashion and business, headed by the honorary chairs – Renee Fleming and Naeem Khan. These included Carolyn Hsu and Rene Balcer, Alexis Clark, Betsy Cohen, Amy Fine Collins, Donna D’Cruz and Tom Silverman, Mica Ertegun, Ajit Hutheesing, His Excellency Piriya Khempon, Consul General of Thailand, Nancy and Henry Kissinger, Ranjana Khan, Alexandra Kotur, James Lally, Ida Liu, Mary McFadden, Bibhu Mohapatra, Alexandra Munroe, Ruth and Harold Newman, Dennis Paul, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky, Daisy Prince and Hugh Chisholm, Charles Rockefeller, Carl and Barbaralee Diamonstein Spielvogel, Susan and Dirk Standen, Prince Zain Talyarkhan, Carl and Kari Tiedemann, Barbara and Donald Tober, and Jack and Susy Wadsworth.
The space was enhanced with silk drapes and tents, and each of the jewel-like tables were designed by a different designer, including Waris Ahluwalia and Julian Lwin, Rachel Cho, Doo-Ri Chung, John Hardy, Banchet Jaigla, Gemma Kahng, Naeem Khan, Soigne Kothari, Rosena Sammi, Misha Shivdasani, Anita Trehan, and Kathy Wilson. Sri Lankan jewelry designer Rosena Sammi, for instance, had decorated her table with a long tower filled with her famous monsoon bangles. She says, “It was quite the hit and more than one guest asked if they could go ‘fishing’ for bangles at the end of the night.”
The dinner menu was created by Chef Hemant Mathur of Tulsi and his wife, the equally talented pastry chef Surbhi Sahni, whose hot new dessert space is Bittersweet NYC, provided the sweet ending for this evening of many colors, tastes and textures. An evening celebrating Asian Art couldn’t end without acknowledging those who cherish it: the Distinguished Collector Award was given to Mary Criggs Burke, who has nurtured the largest collection of Japanese art outside Japan.