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Photo- Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Lee was invited to create this table for the Annual Asia Society Gala Dinner held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Inspired by the party’s theme of 1930’s Shanghai Nights, Lee’s Asia Society Table stunned its diners with its innovative, modern take on Shanghai.

As with the modern city of Shanghai, Lee’s table expresses the duality of contemporary life with traditional roots. The table was an Art Deco, Bauhaus-influenced interpretation of nights in Shanghai. Mirrored towers of over 100 red-glass votive candles rise like sky scrapers in the night sky from a garden of traditional exotic chinese-red flowers, melding the old and the new, the manmade and the natural.

Photo courtesy of Elsa Ruiz

The particular challenge designers faced at The Plaza was the unique table dimensions which were 10 feet long by only 30 INCHES wide! It was ironic that Lee had to create a space resembling a crowded urban environment and go up into the skies rather than outwards, all without losing elegance or opulence. Keeping in mind that each guest had to actually SEE the person sitting opposite them, he constructed the tablescape on several levels. The towers were narrow, grounded by gorgeous scarlet floral arrangements at a low level, giving the diners windows for conversation. Each person had a full formal place setting topped with a vibrant red silk napkin, a Chinese knot and a coin. Below each place setting was a stunning bronze mirror tabletop. The overall effect was opulent and yet utterly modern as befitting cutting-edge Shanghai in the 1930s.

Visit Shanghai Nights by clicking on the images below.

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(Photography by Elsa Ruiz©; Billy Farrell/BFAnyc©)