Permanent Chinese Art Gallery planned
Yao stands tall at museum announcement
Yes, it's true: Yao Ming is really, really tall.
Yao appeared at a press conference at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Tuesday to announce his foundation's partnership with the museum for the establishment of a permanent gallery dedicated to Chinese art.
On crutches due to a much publicized injury to his left foot, he seemed almost too tall for them, and had to lean significantly to offset his weight. When he passed them off to a handler during photo ops, they reached past the man's chin.
At 5-foot-5 inches, I felt dwarfed standing in the same room with him.
Yao and museum Director Peter Marzio announced plans for a gala January 30 to benefit the foundation and the new gallery. It will be one of five new permanent galleries at the MFAH devoted to Asian art. Scheduled to open June 2010, it will be named for Houston's Chao family, who donated $500,000 to the project.
"I'm so comfortable here. People treat me like family, and I'm always looking for opportunities to give back," Yao said.
The Yao Ming Foundation, founded in response to the destruction wreaked by earthquakes in China's Sichuan Province, will also repair the damage done by Hurricane Ike to four local playgrounds.