Night two of Asia Society Texas Center's celebration of its new Yoshio Taniguchi-designed home in the Museum District was less formal but no less energized than the black-tie Tiger Ball that preceded it on Thursday. Chairs Divya and Chris Brown welcomed more than 1,000 guests who had come to get a first look at the spectacular new digs.
Young professionals, veteran art enthusiasts and the culturally curious made their way through the 40,000 square-foot, $48.4 million architectural wonder that was quickly proving itself as a superb party place. And that was part of the plan — that in addition to cultural programming, the center would serve as a gathering point for celebrations of all kinds.
On this night, the Allen Education Center was transformed into a sleek urban lounge where uniformed wait staff from City Kitchen passed ethnic hors d'oeuvres and where buffet lines and a Sushic sushi station beckoned. Vegetarian dishes were offered on the adjoining terrace where more than a few guests took advantage of the great spring weather.
Opportunities for exploring included the Treasures of Asian Art, A Rockefeller Legacy in the gallery, and in the Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater continuous screenings of John Carrithers' documentary on the history of the building project.
And then there was dancing to the sounds of DJ Rocky, dance music that eventually evolved into Bollywood, a twist that had late-night partygoers breaking out in dance fever.
A number of VIP out-of-town guests attended both Thursday and Friday night's events, including Asia Society New York president and CEO Vishakha N. Desai; Asia Society board of trustees co-chairs Ronnie C. Chan and Henrietta H. Fore; Charles Rockefeller, grandson of Asia Society founder John D. Rockefeller III; and Melissa Chiu, museum director and curator for contemporary Asian and Asian American art at Asia Society New York.
And, of course, the architect himself, Mr. Taniguichi, was on hand once again to observe people interacting with the space he so meticulously designed.
Special guests included artists Lee Ufan and Mel Chen, both of whom have works on display in the center.
The evening raised $50,000 for Asia Society programs thanks to guests such as Charlie Chanaratsopon, CEO of Charming Charlie's which underwrote the evening, plus Tatiana Massey, Stacey and John Andell, Charles Rockefeller, Lily and Charles Foster, Brittany Sakowitz, Audrey and Brandon Cochran, Reyne Hirsch and Corbett Parker, Karen and Byron Hood and Janae and Kenny Tsai.