Peter Mui Memorial/Celebration at Hiro Ballroom, NYC

Posted: October 21, 2009 by Andreas Engel in YellowMan Tattoo News
Peter Mui Memorial Celebration at the Hiro Ballroom, NYC

Peter Mui Memorial Celebration at the Hiro Ballroom, NYC

YellowMan founder Peter Mui had only two fears: throwing a party and having nobody show up, and stage fright. But Monday evening, October 19th, 2009, at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC, Peter Mui was center stage to a packed house filled with an extremely diverse crowd, assembled together to honor his life and his legacy. The Hiro Ballroom, at the Maritime Hotel in NYC’s Chelsea district, set a fitting atmosphere of cultural diversity, an attribute that was important to Peter Mui. Warmly lit Asian lanterns and motifs filled the space, centered with a large, rotating, block-lettered “PETER MUI” disco ball above the ballroom floor.

If guests were expecting a somber event, they were in for a surprise. The evening included a Chinese Lion Dance performance from Kwan’s Kung Fu Studio, theatrical video presentations, live music performances, DJ’s spinning celebrative music, and even dancing.

The event brought together an eclectic blend of guests. Among the attendees were family, friends, co-workers, tattoo artists, musicians, film producers, fashion designers and models, young and old and everything in between. As much as what was represented, though, it represented only a cross-section of the larger network of friends Peter Mui established around the world.

Hosted by Mui’s daughter, TV, the evening began with a music video presentation by Christian Carroll. Before his presentation Carroll noted that the music video was representative of a project Mui always dreamed of making, but never completed. Carroll’s video involved a theatrical dramatization of Mui’s adventurous life, set to the music of Mui’s own “Every Man Dies” track under the name Misplaced Cowboy. Drawing good humor from the crowd, Carroll noted that his production “is probably not what Peter envisioned.” Carroll’s interpretation, bringing together aspects of Mui’s early gambling experiences, gold mining expeditions, business prospects, dancing, and love interests, set the energetic and theatrical tone for the evening.

Carroll’s music video was followed by personal comments from Mui’s brother and sister, Roger and Sui, respectively.

The evening’s first musical performance was performed by rising star, Reeve Carney. Performing his slow-paced, melodic song “Think of You“, in his Jeff Buckley-esque voice, Carney brought the house into an emotional, contemplative zone.

The second video presentation, by Andreas Engel, featured a range of Peter Mui’s accomplishments and experiences. Editing together scraps of raw materials from Mui’s many creative projects, Engel presented an eight minute video filled with animation concepts, reality show pilot footage, video of extreme athletes wearing Mui’s YellowMan clothing, and clips from his Yellow River company staff. Engel’s video concluded with video footage of Mui and his family on a boat trip in Bermuda. Mui is heard singing as the boat sets forth to sea.

Following Engel’s emotional video tribute, a Lion Dance performance by Kwan’s Kung Fu Studio from Peekskill, NY, brought the house back up to a celebrative spirit. Although Lion Dances are traditionally performed at the start of a new year (and not for memorial services!), this performance was included in the program to represent Mui’s zest for crossing barriers, and to highlight Mui’s multi-cultural identity. The Lion Dance was particularly enjoyed by the younger attendees at the event, which included all of Mui’s children and their friends from school.

Following the Lion Dance performance, Mui’s daughter, TV, took to the stage with a full band to perform two songs. Her first performance was her version of The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand“, as performed in Julie Taymore’s film “Across the Universe.” TV noted that her singing the song in the film was one of her father’s proudest moments. Following that song she performed her version of Mui’s “Every Man Dies.” A slide show montage played over the heads of the performers while they played, and the audience was encouraged to sing along during the chorus.

TV Carpio and Reeve Carney performing at Peter Mui's memorial event at the Hiro Ballroom, NYC

TV Carpio and Reeve Carney performing at Peter Mui's memorial event at the Hiro Ballroom, NYC

The event schedule concluded with Mui’s wife, Jenny, and family taking the stage for a few parting words.

Following the evenings schedule, live drummers and DJ’s accompanied the house to a festive conclusion with dancing, cupcakes, and togetherness amongst friends.

It was the party Peter Mui always wanted, and it was celebrated as such by all.

  1. Peter Mui says:

    Looks like it was a great party, sorry I missed it. Q: what’s happened to the block-lettered disco ball? Can I borrow it for my upcoming 50th birthday celebration? – (another, different Peter Mui)

  2. yellowman says:

    Sorry, the block-lettered disco ball is no longer with us.

  3. crystal photiou says:

    Hi Mui Family
    I was so saddened to hear about Peter’s passing- I used to work at Yellow River and really loved and admired Peter!!! He was a great guy- totally larger than life- warm, generous and out of his mind! I think of him often and had no idea he had “moved on” Happy trails my friend!

  4. Peter Gross says:

    I met Peter in my Freshman Year at McGuiness High School in Oklahoma City. we had a Religion Class together. I liked Peter…he was a very happy joyous fellow. I tranferred to a public school my sophomore year and never saw Peter again.
    A friend of mine Kit Becker knew Peter at Trinity College in San Antonio,and shared with me about his life and accomplishments as well as his Memeorial video.
    What a guy!! I am sure he is happy…

  5. Lydia says:

    To the Mui Family,

    I was Peter’s dance teacher a long time ago in New York City. I just came across this and I am a bit shocked. What an incredible family he left behind; I had no idea.

    My condolences.


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