Asia Society Tiger Ball Creates More Success

By Jennifer Roosth       Photography by Daniel Ortiz and Leah Wilson

THE SETTING:  Asia Society’s 2020 Tiger Ball, Celebrating the Elegance of Japan, honored Texas’ iconic and beloved champion of the arts, legendary philanthropist Lynn Wyatt. Welcoming 725 guests, it was more people than at any other event since the building opened in 2012. The Events Company created a Japanese-inspired spring paradise, transporting attendees to another world and season. A pink carpet lined with Japanese cherry blossom trees and special lighting served as a lovely pathway into the venue, which is itself an award-winning work of art, created by famed Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi.

THE STYLE:  The evening was indeed an exquisite celebration of the elegance of Japan. An entire truckload of Japanese cherry blossom branches decorated the Center and the Gala Pavilion, plus white Phalaenopsis orchids, roses, pink orchids, Vanda orchids, magnolia Japonica, fringed tulips, Asclepias, and a new breed of tulip known as the Leo spider tulip. Flowers were sourced from Thailand, Holland, and Oregon, and totaled approximately 10,000 blooms. Japanese taiko drummers led the way into the lavishly decorated 80’x181’ gala pavilion that transformed the Asia Society’s exterior space. Dozens of origami-inspired cranes and white rice paper and feather lanterns dotted the ceiling. Several oak trees outside the venue were adorned with cherry blossom branches to add to the Japanese springtime ambiance. A sumptuous Japanese-inspired menu, created by City Kitchen was served, featuring okonomiyaki pancakes with smoked duck, as well as tuna tartar, Wagyu beef tataki, spring rolls, edamame and jasmine rice cake, jumbo lump crab with melon, miso-glazed sea bass, and kabocha squash timbale. 

THE PURPOSE:  Kathy and Marty Goossen, and Akemi and Yasuhiko Saitoh co-chaired the event. Honorary chairs Kathy and Glen Yoshiaki Gondo, Wendy and Jeff Hines, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Brenda and Marc Watts, Donna Fujimoto Cole, and Shota Kondo were also recognized. A total of $1.34 million was raised in support of Asia Society’s programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach to enrich and engage the vast diversity of Houston.