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Fern Mallis, Vishakha Desai, president, Asia Society
Fern Mallis, Vishakha Desai, president, Asia Society.

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Asia Society kicked off Asia Week with AllThingsArtAsia brilliantly on March 22, 2010  despite the torrential downpour that lapped at the hems of long evening dresses, as guests packed Asia Society’s Garden Court for a reception sponsored by Bao & Company and Suntory.   Guests such as Henry Hwang Gordon, Richard Meier, Mira Nair, Adam Platt, Alice Schroeder, NYC’s Comptroller John Liu and Arden Wohl savored the flavors of Chef Michael Bao Huynh's Vietnamese cuisine while sipping Ito En tea.  Collectors had a private preview and tour 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 dresses by Alia Khan, Thuy Diep and Vivienne Tam.  Meanwhile, Desperate Housewives’ Gale Harold and co-star, Fay Ann Lee, experienced deja-vu as they recalled the premiere of Lee's film, Falling for Grace at the Asia Society.  Well, Whoopi Goldberg wasn't there to introduce the Gala like she did the film, but there was plenty of star power at Guastavino's, where guests went for a seated dinner featuring Chef Huynh’s exquisite cuisine with dessert by Chef Pichet Ong.

At the dinner, Broadway star Christiane Noll huddled with fellow actress and film maker, Fay Ann Lee, while BD Wong chatted with Susan Shin about artist Lies Maculan’s DREAM SHOP art installation in Chelsea.  Arresting in a long black, asymmetrical sheath by notable Korean designer, PARKCHOONMOO, the Austrian artist confided that her favorite store in NYC is Home Depot (nothing like that in Stockholm) while models Irina Pantaeva and Ling Tangthought Vivienne Tam’s store took that prize.

Meanwhile, Fern Mallis and Thuy Diep mused aloud about the THUY show and Fashion Week’s move to Lincoln Center until they noted another show at the podium where a live auction of exotic trips in Asia was delightfully and spontaneously interrupted by a very excited Vivienne Tam, who started inciting the audience to bid higher on her auction package.  Mallis couldn't believe it when Vivienne Tam's HP butterfly clutch, matching Monster headphones, chiffon dress and seats to her Spring/Summer 2011 show fetched more than $18,000 -- but that probably had to do with Tam who trumped Sotheby's auctioneer Henry Howard-Sneyd, to incite a bidding war in which both bidders went home victorious.  Indeed, it was a successful evening, raising substantial funds for Asia Society and its programs.

AllThingsArtASIA opened Asia Week New York, bringing together diverse programming and activities hosted by museums, galleries, specialty dealers, and auction houses across the city from March 20 through 28, 2010. Over 30 galleries, museums and auction houses  hosted special exhibition viewings, lectures, and other exceptional events during the week, which attracted top dealers and collectors of some of the most important Asian art on the market from around the globe.

Susan Shin, NYC Comptroller John Liu, Ida Liu
Susan Shin, NYC Comptroller John Liu, Ida Liu.

Lucia Hwong Gordon, BD Wong, Ida Liu
Lucia Hwong Gordon, BD Wong, Ida Liu.

Thuy Diep
Thuy Diep.

  Vivienne Tam, Melissa Chiu, Ida Liu, Susan Shin
Vivienne Tam, Museum Director Melissa Chiu, Ida Liu, Susan Shin.

Lies Maculan, Fern Mallis, Fay Ann Lee, Christiane Noll
Lies Maculan, Fern Mallis, Fay Ann Lee, Christiane Noll.

Mona Wyatt, Ida Liu
Mona Wyatt, Ida Liu.

Irina Pantaeva, Vivienne Tam
Irina Pantaeva, Vivienne Tam.

Vivienne Tam, BD Wong
Vivienne Tam, BD Wong.

Photos: Elsa Ruiz
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