Posts

Article: “Getting Social at Suzhou’s Night Market” Suzhou Review newspaper

Dave Alber’s article “Getting Social at Suzhou’s Night Market” appeared in Suzhou, China’s Suzhou Review newspaper on May 28, 2018.

 

“Getting Social at Suzhou’s Night Market” contains the following travel illustrations by Travel Writer Dave Alber:

Eating with Friends at Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market (Suzhou, China)

A PDF file of the published article is here: “Getting Social at Suzhou’s Night Market” in Suzhou Review newspaper, May 28, 2018.

The article is reproduced here:

“Getting Social at Suzhou’s Night Market”

by Dave Alber

Too often our lives can be compartmentalized by the social roles of work, school, home, or contracted into a hunched-over typing into so-called “social media”. By contrast, night markets offer a great opportunity to bring people together in the real “off-line” world. Bringing different social groups together allows for people from different institutions and even different countries to get together and share experiences. Doing so, we become human beings interacting again, as opposed to “work robots” or texting appendages to cellphone masters.

The night market in Suzhou that our group chose was the Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market. It is one block west of the Temple of Mystery (Xuanmiao Temple) in Lequiao. I recommended the place because I had been there one year ago when it was much livelier; a second row of shops had been set up in the center of the road which was filled with tables and chairs, as cars were kept clear of this social space. However, now as the vendors told us, the police had told them to clear the street of tables, chairs, and vendor’s stalls. Replacing them, there were now a few cars parked empty and useless in the street. These derelict cars littering the street like discarded cigarette butts, were bleak symbols of an affluent disregard for the communal space of others. It made me sad to see that human beings had lost this social space. The abandoned cars had won.

However, as we found a restaurant that was willing to set up tables and chairs outside as in this night market’s heyday, our group was happy, eating street food together and enjoying hot plates of crawfish, grilled oysters, steamed clams, and barbequed meat all served with bottles of cold beer. Our group was a mixed bunch; there were people teaching at three different educational institutions, people from five nations, collectively speaking almost twenty languages. Interestingly, three of the five people from Spain were world famous graffiti artists from Madrid who were here with the curator of the local gallery, Suzhou 56 Cultural and Creative Park where this graffiti army was exhibiting their graffiti event called “Freedom World” and hosting an art party on Saturday, May 26th.

I asked those in this creative and linguistically diverse group, “Who inspires you?” for I believe that one of the best things we can talk about in life is our collective and individual inspiration, wonder, and joy. I started by giving an example, telling people that the illustrator Dave McKean seems to be able to do almost anything. His graphic novel Cages is, in my estimation, the best piece of comic art ever created. A jazz pianist at our table who plays regularly in Shanghai shared that Bill Evans inspires him. Evans was known for revolutionizing the harmonic language in jazz piano. One of the graffiti artists shared, “All of those people whose lives are a lesson for the rest of us. All of them. There are far too many people to name, whosoever they may be.”

Indeed, and its an honor to be among those whom are “too many to name” sharing good food, conversation, and inspiration. Because in our city life, where our external environment is often too crowded with cars and our internal world is drawn increasingly into the tunnel-vision of a cell phone’s demands, its nice to escape back into human spaces like night markets where crawfish, steamed clams, roasted oysters, and barbequed lamb become all the social media we need.

Author bio:

Dave Alber is a fine artist in Suzhou, China. His Travel Art can be found at DaveAlber.com and in China at ArtAnd.cn. Suzhou 56 Cultural and Creative Park’s “Freedom World” can be found on WeChat by scanning the QR code below:

Dave Alber author, writer, content creator, information products, college professor, college teacher, english teacherDave Alber is a Travel Painter whose illustrations have appeared most recently in That’s Shanghai, Suzhou Review, Open Magazine, and Nepali Renaissance. His comic “Bedding Shanghai” was featured in the 2018 Shanghai International Literary Festival’s Erotic Fiction Contest. For a limited time, Dave’s art catalogue Dave Alber: Travel Art: 2018 Part 1: Intimations can be preordered for free at DaveAlber.com. Longer bio and Artist Statement here.

Join the Travel Art Adventurer’s Club to receive your art catalogue Dave Alber: Travel Art: 2018 Part 1: Intimations

Thank you for being part of the Travel Art Adventurer’s Club family.

Warmly,

Copyright Dave Alber 2018

Eating with Friends at Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market, Suzhou, China

2018
Gouache on paper
12 x 10 in

Travel Art, Dave Alber, travel, art, fine art, illustrations, illustrator, travel writer, traveler, tourism art, tourist art, travel painting, portrait painters, portrait painting, travel portrait, art resale, flip, representational, traditional, abstract art, wall art, flower painters, pet painters, gouache, chinese market, asian market, night market, dachengfang, dachengfang market, chinese night market, chinese artists, chinese painting, chinese art, chinese illustration, suzhou review, beer, beer market, eating outside, china travel, china tourism, suzhou travel, suzhou tourism, jiangsu travel, jiangsu tourism, china travel, china tourism

Eating with Friends at Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market (Suzhou, China) is a gouache illustration of friends eating at a Chinese night market. The night market is the Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market to the west of the Temple of Mystery in Leqiao, Suzhou.

Please contact Dave Alber to purchase the original.

and…

Fine art print collectors may invest in a fine art print of Eating with Friends at Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market (Suzhou, China) here.

Eating with Friends at Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market (Suzhou, China) is featured in the article “Getting Social at Suzhou’s Night Market” for the May 28, 2018 issue of the Suzhou Review newspaper.

Read the article HERE! 

Eating with Friends at Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market (Suzhou, China) is featured in the art catalogue Dave Alber: Travel Art 2018: Part 1: Intimations.

Only the rare art catalogue can take you on journeys to faraway places and help you bridge cultural understanding with an immersed experience in the traveler’s journey.

Travel Art: 2018 Part 1: Intimations contains:

• 23 paintings reflecting life in China, Myanmar, and Nepal
• 4 travel articles
• 2 pages of hand painted comic art
• as well as the artist’s statement and biography

Read more about Travel Art: 2018 Part 1: Intimations HERE! 

Eating with Friends at Dachengfang Guanqian Night Market (Suzhou, China) is part of the ongoing series, “WAIGUOREN!”: Suzhou Through a Foreigner’s Eyes.

Have you ever lived abroad? How did people respond to you as a foreigner? What were some of the sights and experiences that you are grateful to have had due to your living — not simply tourist-ing — abroad? What comparisons and contrasts did you make between the foreign culture and your own? What were some of the odd experiences? The things that made you laugh out loud?

In Chinese, the word, “Waiguoren” means foreigner. And because China is a somewhat closed culture, it’s not uncommon for some locals to stare, point, or yell, “WAIGUOREN!” when seeing a foreigner.

“Living as an expat ‘WAIGUOREN!’ in Suzhou, China regularly opens my mind to wonder, despite the routine reminders of the cultural us/them dynamic specific to the situation. There’s something very special about overcoming the cultural rigidity of that dynamic and finding — with new friends— the commonality of laughter.”

Read more about “WAIGUOREN!” HERE! 
Dave Alber author, writer, content creator, information products, college professor, college teacher, english teacher

Dave Alber is a Travel Painter whose illustrations have appeared most recently in That’s Shanghai, Suzhou Review, Open Magazine, and Nepali Renaissance. His comic “Bedding Shanghai” was featured in the 2018 Shanghai International Literary Festival’s Erotic Fiction Contest. For a limited time, Dave’s art catalogue Dave Alber: Travel Art: 2018 Part 1: Intimations can be preordered for free at DaveAlber.com. Longer bio and Artist Statement here.

Join the Travel Art Adventurer’s Club to receive your art catalogue Dave Alber: Travel Art: 2018 Part 1: Intimations

Thank you for being part of the Travel Art Adventurer’s Club family.

Warmly,

Copyright Dave Alber 2018