This Cancer Survivor Crusades For Asian Art and SMU Students

Linda Kao Knows That Caring and Curiosity Matters

BY Caroline Lidl // 02.03.19
photography Ana Hop

In its third year, NorthPark Center‘s Luxury Ambassador program boldly merges the worlds of fashion, art and philanthropy, by way of celebrating the city’s top influencers and the nonprofits they support. NorthPark’s chosen few embody a rare-air kind of style — a droup that contains equal parts fashion sense, civic leadership, and larger-than-life personality. Here, we catch up with Linda Kao and learn about her passion for the Crow Museum of Asian Art.

With the Crow holding its 20th annual Chinese New Year celebration at NorthPark this Saturday (February 9) from 11 am to 4 pm, this is one of Kao’s favorite times of year.

Why the Crow Museum of Asian Art.

I’ve had a long love affair with the Crow Museum of Asian Art.

A benevolent memory.

Ahh… the fun we had when we first launched the Chinese New Year celebration and made it accessible to everyone in the community. We gathered all the talent and mobilized the Chinese community to volunteer. It was a great success, of course not to today’s scale!

I think last year’s celebration at NorthPark truly connected art, activities, and people, and elevated this important holiday to a new level.

Philanthropic influencers.

My parents immigrated us from Taiwan to Dallas in the early ’70s to start a new life and live the American Dream.

They opened Royal China Restaurant, which is still the best Chinese restaurant in North Texas. They always reminded us how blessed we are by the generosity of our adoptive land and that we should always remember to give back to the community.

Role models.

There are so many…

NorthPark Center is at the center of combining art and fashion. Describe your own art and fashion interests.

As a young girl in Taiwan, my parents would often take us to the National Palace Museum where we would immerse ourselves in Chinese paintings, jade carvings, fine porcelains, ivory towers, ancient bronze, etcetera. I developed a love for Asian art.

I am actually a pretty good Chinese calligrapher, but I am also very fond of artists from the Impressionism and Post Impressionism periods. I appreciate art in various forms, mediums, and origins. Each piece is different and unique.

I feel that fashion is an art form. I love beautiful fabrics, clean lines, and nice workmanship. Mixing old and new, different labels, and textures. I work full time in an academic setting, so comfortable, business professional attire is important for me. I also have a collection of traditional and modern Chinese clothing.

The perfect day.

As a late-stage cancer survivor, every day is a perfect day for me. I am truly thankful!

Your day job.

As the assistant dean of global programs, I create experiential learning programs for MBA students at the Cox School of Business at SMU. I am passionate about what I do and how these opportunities impact students.

Looking forward.

I am excited about the transformation of Crow Museum of Asian Art.

The Crow Museum Dallas
The Crow Museum has a lot to offer.

NorthPark memories.

My mom and I shopped for my wedding dress at Neiman Marcus in NorthPark… Watching in awe of the installation of Borofsky’s Five Hammering Men … Christmas time at NorthPark is magical… Watching my kids play in the duck pond in front of Neiman Marcus. They love the ducks, turtles, and sliding down the curved column endlessly — joy!

Advice to your younger self.

Don’t argue with mom, she’s always right!

On the horizon in 2019.

Personally, I will exercise more, stay healthy and cancer free — and potty train my new puppy… soon! Professionally, I will stay curious and creative.

For more information on the Chinese New Year celebration and to get in your RSVP to the free bonanza, click here.

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