03/06/2013 12:38 pm ET Updated May 06, 2013

Terracotta Warriors Animate Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum celebrated ancient and modern warriors at the opening of its newest exhibit, "China's Terracotta Warriors." The older ones were buried over 2000 years ago in X'ian province of China, where they stood at attention, entombed in service of the First Emperor Qin Shihuang.

The live ones stood at metaphorical-attention in service of the museum itself, which is celebrating a decade in its Civic Center location. Unlike their silent counterparts, at cocktail hour these ten were particularly vocal about their passion for the museum, their appreciation of art, and their respect for one another. They included Bill Bowes, William Mathews Brooks, Joseph Cotchett, Tim Kahn, Chong-Moon Lee, Fred Levin, Kumar Malavalli, Anthony Sun, Jack Wadsworth and Jerry Yang. The dinner that ensued followed the a traditional Chinese banquet, McCall's catering style, with five courses of Asian-influenced specialties accompanied by Boisset Family Estates' wines and the din of vibrant conversation. Interspersed between courses were performances meant to evoke ancient warriors, traditional Chinese instrumental music, and a spirited auction of two original recent artworks by Zheng Chongbin and Arnold Chang, along with a dinner for ten at the restaurant du jour, Benu.

Throughout the evening, two animated warrior "statues" mingled with the crowd, appearing for photo ops that delighted even the most jaded museum-goer. These warriors, and the ones being honored, were lovers, not fighters.

Terracotta Warriors Opening Gala

Mightier than the sword: Gala Dinner Committee Chair Gorreti Lo Lui<, Director Jay Xu, tireless Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Akiko Yamazaki, charming wine impresario Jean-Charles Boisset with his equally oenophied wife Gina Gallo, Stephanie Ejabat resplendent in feathers, Pam Joyner, Helen Hilton Raiser, an Oscar-clad and serene Marissa Mayer with her newest Yahoo-er Jacqueline Reses, Judy Wilbur, Marianne and Jeffrey Guttas, Nanci Nishimura, Jamie and Steve Chen, Eliza and Dean Cash, Richard Barker, Cori and Tony Bates, Rosina Sun, Pam Rorke Levy, the ever-chic Komal Shah, Maura Morey, stylish birthday babe Janet Reilly with Clint Reilly, David Lei, Benu chef Corey Lee, SFMOMA's Neal Benezra and Maria Makela, Ken Fulk and Kurt Wootton, SFBallet's inimtitable Yuan Yuan Tan looking like a sylph in gold sequins, Sharon and David Seto, Doris and Ted Lee, Letitia and Michael Kim, James Hormel and Michael Nguyen, an elegant Phoebe Cowles, Dr Carolyn Chang, Carmen and Greg Franceschi, Carolyn and Jade Hiramoto, Lily Hwang, Dominic Ng, Betty and Hiro Ogawa, Wang Yan Lai, Lisa Mitsunaga, Karen Moore, Kirsten Legallet, Yiwen and Hanson Li, Mindzhu Hu, Swati and Vijay Advani, Hope Azarani, Jorje Maumer, Brenda Zarate, Dolly Chammas with Patrick Chammas, Martha Hertelendy, Cynthia and John Gunn, Peter and Alex Caban, Coral and Andrew Chung, and a whole battalion of stylish supporters.

To see additional images: Opening Night Gala for the TERRACOTTA EXHIBITION