tiger ball 2022

Houston's Asia Society leaps back with record-breaking $1.6M Tiger Ball

Asia Society leaps back with record-breaking $1.6 million Tiger Ball

Tiger Ball 2022 Leigh Smith, Lynn Wyatt, Y. Ping Sun
Leigh Smith, Lynn Wyatt, and Y. Ping Sun. Photo by Daniel Ortiz

A record-breaking evening for the Asia Society Texas’ Tiger Ball 2022, as it commemorated the 10th anniversary of the opening of its center and raised over $1.6 million for the beloved local nonprofit.

Ball chairs, Leigh and Reggie Smith and Tripp Carter celebrated the honorary chairs Nancy C. Allen and Anne and Albert Chao for their enduring commitment to building cross-cultural friendships and visionary spirit that made the Texas Center possible. 

Three “Trailblazers” were also honored: visual artist Tiffany Chung, astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and chancellor of the University of Houston Renu Khator. Their contributions to community embody Asia Society’s mission to celebrate vibrant cultures and diverse perspectives through art, education, and global partnerships. The gala’s proceeds support the Asia Society Texas’ efforts to advance cross cultural understanding and build a more inclusive community.

The event kicked off with a special champagne toast inside the Asia Society Texas Center for the organization’s closest friends and family to raise a glass to the gala’s leadership and celebrate the honored “Trailblazers.” After a warm welcome from the Ball Chairs, ASTX president, Bonna Kol presented Allen and the Chaos with chic and meaningful awards to acknowledge their significant support for the organization.

Made by artist Michael Aram, the unique pieces featured black irises which are symbolic of wisdom, courage, and admiration. Inside the Gala Pavilion, over 620 guests were welcomed into an elegant sea of red and gold executed beautifully by Bergner and Johnson.

A gentle mist, intended to mimic the Texas Center’s Water Garden Terrace, emanated from a resplendent water wall topped with forsythia branches at one end of the room. Adding a touch of magic to the atmosphere, floating candles were suspended from oak trees above tables laden with exquisite arrangements of red roses, tulips, anemones, ranunculus, and hydrangeas.

During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed wagyu tataki with spring radishes and carrots and duck crepes with hoisin and scallions while dancers from Dance of Asian America, engaged with guests through demonstrations of traditional Chinese dance techniques.

Guests perused a variety of luxurious silent auction items that included a Harry Winston Midnight Automatic 36mm timepiece, artworks by Houston-born artist and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Mel Chin and British-Iranian artist Kour Pour, two sets of first-class United Airlines airfare to Asia or Europe, and a five-day luxury Fabergé London experience.

Guests were then treated to a sumptuous dinner by City Kitchen featuring a seared miso-glazed sea bass with white soy and red pepper threads, accompanied by forbidden rice and heirloom cauliflower with mustard seeds and ginger.

Following dinner, guests enjoyed a variety of desserts while celebrating on the dance floor with music provided by DJ ALX of Karma DJs. 

Special guests included Lynn Wyatt, plus Durga and Sushila Agrawal, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Ann and Jay Cuclis, Lily and Charles Foster, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Pooja Goradia and Ravi Purohit, David Harvey, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Melanie Lawson and John Guess, Sultana and Moez Mangalji, Shazma and Arshad Matin, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Susmita and Syamal Poddar, Sylvia and Gordon Quan, David Ruiz, Sue and Randy Sim, Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron, Starlee Sykes and Al Vickers, Selma and Mustafa Tameez, Tuu and Jim Teague, Janae and Kenny Tsai, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, and Michelle and Rishi Varma.