Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Location: The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers (Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011)

Honorees: David and Susan Rockefeller, Shen Wei

For fifty-five years, the Asian Cultural Council has supported transformative cultural exchanges between artists and scholars in the United States and Asia. ACC celebrated this milestone with a gala honoring David and Susan Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award recipient Shen Wei. The ACC 55th Anniversary Gala was held on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

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David and Susan Rockefeller

David, a leading global philanthropist and ACC Trustee for twenty-eight years, and Susan, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, conservationist, and entrepreneur, are true champions of a more peaceful and sustainable world. David and Susan Rockefeller share a deep commitment to the Asian Cultural Council’s mission and to ACC founder John D. Rockefeller 3rd’s vision—to foster greater understanding and respect between the United States and Asia.

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Shen Wei

ACC also honored the 25th recipient of the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award—dance artist, choreographer, and visual artist Shen Wei. Shen Wei has received recognition worldwide for choreography that bridges both the contemporary and the traditional, Eastern and Western aesthetics—an art that crosses the boundaries of cultural and temporal divides.


While ACC provides the resources, network, and programmatic planning that facilitates immersive cultural exchange, it is our fellows who live out ACC’s mission of deepening international dialogue, understanding, and respect both during their fellowship and long into the future. In celebrating this amazing community, the night will feature performances by four ACC alumni—Susie Ibarra, Kalidas Karmakar, Nina Kuo, and Yasuno Miyauchi.

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Susie Ibarra (Music, 2007, 2018)
Susie Ibarra is a composer and percussionist who creates live and immersive music that explores rhythm, indigenous practices, and interactions between cities and the natural world. In 2007, Susie Ibarra received an ACC Fellowship to study indigenous music and document regional festivals in the Philippines. In 2018, she was granted her second ACC Fellowship in support of her project, Himalayan Glacier Soundscapes, An Acoustic Story on Climate Change. This research and installation work maps sound data from source to sink, from the Himalayas to the Ganges.
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Kalidas Karmakar (Visual Art, 2006)
Kalidas Karmakar is one of Bangladesh’s most recognized contemporary artists. Trained at what was then the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts (currently University of Dhaka’s Faculty of Fine Arts) and at the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Calcutta, he began his artistic career in the early 1970s. His diverse body of work which features found objects, handmade paper, oil on canvas prints, have been widely exhibited throughout South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. In 2006, he received an ACC Fellowship to participate a residency at the PointB Worklodge in Brooklyn.
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Nina Kuo (Visual Art, 2002)
Nina Kuo is a New York-based artist working in painting, mixed media, photography, and video. In 2002, Kuo received an ACC Fellowship to study Zen painting in Japan, developing the foundation for a new series of paintings. Working in Asia led Kuo to research the ongoing evolution of Asian cultures and has given her access to translated icons hidden in her own works. The figures and landscapes in her work represent the multicultural perspective of an Asian scholar and artist living in the West but looking to the East for spirituality.
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Yasuno Miyauchi (Music, 2015, 2017)
Yasuno Miyauchi is a composer from Japan whose music takes inspiration from the human body, traditional music, and the natural world. She is also the founder and artistic director of Tsumugine, an all-female performance group. During a six-month ACC New York Fellowship in 2016, Miyauchi collaborated with other ACC grantees to develop a multidisciplinary performance piece called I-Land. This project deepened her interest in looking to Asia for inspiration. In 2017, she received a two-month ACC Fellowship to research the contemporary performing arts scene and aboriginal musical cultures in Taiwan.
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The Nightingales
The Nightingales combines the beautiful voices of Bianca Camille Lopez and Ma. Rhina Palma-Cruz, performing a broad repertoire of opera arias, Broadway classics, folksongs and even popular standards, all in a unique style of singing - bel canto or beautiful voice. As former soloists of the country’s premier choir and internationally acclaimed ensemble, The Philippine Madrigal Singers, these carefully honed, and seasoned singers have captivated audiences in China, Canada, United States, Africa, and Europe. Aiming to bring classical music closer to the younger audience, and to contribute to the development of choirs and singers all over the country, the duo has generously involved itself in reaching out to different music enthusiasts and aspiring singers by means of outreach workshops, further expanding the mission of the Philippine Madrigal Singers of a “Singing Philippines.”