Posts

Dave Alber, Self-Portrait at Swayambunath, Kathmandu, Nepal

2018
Oil on canvas
9.375 x 11.75 in

VISIT the updated page HERE.

Dave Alber, Self-Portrait at Swayambunath (Kathmandu, Nepal) is an oil painting by Travel Painter and Travel Writer Dave Alber. Swayambunath is the center of Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Mandala. The Kathmandu Valley is understood to be a mandala, which is to say an aesthetic and spiritual image of wholeness.

The Manjushri Purana describes the creation of the Kathmandu Valley as a mandala. Swayambunath is the spiritual center of Nepalese Buddhism, which is Vajrayana Buddhism and quite similar to Tibetan Buddhism. It is popularly known as monkey temple due to the many monkeys that inhabit this mountaintop temple.

Swayambunath is a Buddhist pilgrimage site and you must climb the mountain to reach the temple complex and stupa at the top.

David Alber, Self-Portrait at Swayambunath (Kathmandu, Nepal) is featured on the cover of 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! 

Dave Alber, Self-Portrait at Swayambunath (Kathmandu, Nepal) is part of the ongoing series, Travel Art.

What does travel mean for you? Does it mean enjoying romantic sunsets on a faraway beach? Does it mean visiting the city of your dreams? Does it mean an adventurous journey to remote locations far off the beaten track; enriching yourself with a cultural experience; or exploring the depths of ancient civilizations?

“I hope that my Travel Art touches and enlivens your sense of fascination and wonder about the world we live in. I also hope that this Travel Art becomes a conversational bridge between your own unique travel experiences and the collective sharing of the magical quality of the journey. The truth is… we live in an amazing world and the continuity of art and culture is one of the great human contributions to that world. With Travel Art, I don’t aim to break this continuity — the shock of the new — but rather to add the “voice” of my brush (even in the smallest of ways) upon this long conversation of life enrichment that remains the sustained contribution of the transmission of art and culture through time.”

“As the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau once stated, ‘When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.’ Similarly, I hope my Travel Art inspires you to celebrate your own adventures — and maybe even commission a painting or two — and share the beauty of our discoveries in this magnificent world we share… together.”

Read more about Travel Art 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: 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

Article: “The Peacock Shop in Bhaktapur, Nepal” Nepali Renaissance

VISIT the updated page HERE.

Dave Alber’s article “The Peacock Shop in Bhaktapur, Nepal: An interview with Suyog Prajapati at The Peacock Shop” appeared in Nepali Renaissance: Earthquake Reconstruction & Cultural Revival in Nepal on June 21, 2018.

The Peacock Shop in Bhaktapur, Nepal” contains the following travel illustrations by Travel Writer Dave Alber:

Peacock Window (Bhaktapur, Nepal) 

A link to the article is here: “The Peacock Shop in Bhaktapur, Nepal: An interview with Suyog Prajapati at The Peacock Shop” appeared in Nepali Renaissance: Earthquake Reconstruction & Cultural Revival in Nepal on June 21, 2018.

The article “The Peacock Shop in Bhaktapur, Nepal: An interview with Suyog Prajapati at The Peacock Shop” 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! 
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

Suzhou Center Mall in the Rain, East Side, Suzhou, China

2018
Gouache on paper
10 x 7.61 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, suzhou center, suzhou center mall, suzhou center painting, suzhou center art, suzhou art, suzou painting, chinese painting, chinese art, china tourism, china travel, suzhou travel, suzhou tourism, gouache

Suzhou Center Mall in the Rain, East Side (Suzhou, China) is a gouache illustration for Dave Alber’s travel article on Suzhou Center.


Suzhou Center Mall in the Rain, East Side (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! 

Suzhou Center Mall in the Rain, East Side (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

Dushu Lake Church, Suzhou, China

2018
Oil on canvas
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, chinese church, suzhou church, dushuhu lake church, dushuhu church, church architecture, church painting, church architecture painting, churches in china, oil painting, impasto, impasto painting, chinese oil painting, chinese impasto, chinese art, suzhou art, christianity in china, chinese christianity, china travel, china tourism, suzhou travel, suzhou tourism, jiangsu travel, jiangsu tourism, china travel, china tourism

Dushu Lake Church (Suzhou, China) is an oil painting by Travel Writer and Travel Painter Dave Alber. Dushu Lake Church is in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) in Suzhou, China. The church is operated by the Suzhou International Fellowship, a non-denominational Christian Church serving the expat community in Suzhou.

Dushu Lake Church (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! 

Dushu Lake Church (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

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

Peacock Window, Bhaktapur, Nepal

2018
Oil on canvas
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, nepal art, bhaktapur art, peacock window, nepali woodcarving, newari woodcarving, nepali architecture, nepal window, bhaktapur window, newari window, nepal art, nepal painting, nepali painting, nepal tourism, nepal travel, bhaktapur travel, bhaktapur tourism

Peacock Window (Bhaktapur, Nepal) is an oil painting by Travel Painter and Travel Writer Dave Alber. The famous Peacock Window in Bhaktapur, Nepal is one of the greatest examples of woodworking in the world. It has been hailed as one of the finest pieces of Newari window work in Nepal.

Peacock Window (Bhaktapur, Nepal) is featured in the article “The Peacock Shop in Bhaktapur, Nepal: An interview with Suyog Prajapati at The Peacock Shop” for Nepali Renaissance.

Read the article HERE!

Peacock Window (Bhaktapur, Nepal) 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! 

Peacock Window (Bhaktapur, Nepal) is part of the ongoing series, Travel Art.

What does travel mean for you? Does it mean enjoying romantic sunsets on a faraway beach? Does it mean visiting the city of your dreams? Does it mean an adventurous journey to remote locations far off the beaten track; enriching yourself with a cultural experience; or exploring the depths of ancient civilizations?

“I hope that my Travel Art touches and enlivens your sense of fascination and wonder about the world we live in. I also hope that this Travel Art becomes a conversational bridge between your own unique travel experiences and the collective sharing of the magical quality of the journey. The truth is… we live in an amazing world and the continuity of art and culture is one of the great human contributions to that world. With Travel Art, I don’t aim to break this continuity — the shock of the new — but rather to add the “voice” of my brush (even in the smallest of ways) upon this long conversation of life enrichment that remains the sustained contribution of the transmission of art and culture through time.”

“As the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau once stated, ‘When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.’ Similarly, I hope my Travel Art inspires you to celebrate your own adventures — and maybe even commission a painting or two — and share the beauty of our discoveries in this magnificent world we share… together.”

Read more about Travel Art 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

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

“WAIGUARAN!”

2018
Gouache on paper
7.1 x 10 in

“WAIGUARAN!” (Suzhou, China) is a gouache painting of a boy and his grandfather riding home in a bicycle rickshaw. They boy is surprised at seeing a foreigner (“waiguaran”).

“WAIGUARAN!” (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! 

“WAIGUARAN!” (Suzhou, China) is the signature image for 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 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

 

Article: “The Floral Mandarin Fish” Suzhou Review

Dave Alber’s article “The Floral Mandarin Fish” appeared in Suzhou, China’s Suzhou Review newspaper on May 14, 2018.

The Floral Mandarin Fish contains the following travel illustrations by Travel Writer Dave Alber:

Cooking Mandarin Fish (Gue Yu)

A PDF file of the published article is here: “The Floral Mandarin Fish” in Suzhou Review newspaper, May 14, 2018.

The article is reproduced here:

The Floral Mandarin Fish

by Dave Alber

The Chinese perch is known by different names. In the West, it is one of the several fish known imprecisely as the mandarin fish. Its biological taxonomy in Latin is siniperca chuatsi, which translates to Chinese perch (sini-perca.) In Chinese, it is known as gui yu, which translates to “banded fish with a bulge on its back”, or as gui hua yu, “banded flower fish”, I have been told, owing to its beauty.[I] As one of Suzhou’s most popular dishes, it can be found in most fish restaurants in Suzhou as song shu gui yu or “squirrel fish”.

Squirrel fish is the most popular and certainly the most flamboyant method of preparing the fish. A sweet and sour dish, the first thing you’ll notice when the fish is brought to your table at a restaurant, is that it is bright orange. Also, it is served whole, head and all, and presented magnificently, belly-down, head arched upward, open-mouthed. Its body seems exaggerated in size due to its flesh being covered in fry-battered spikes of meat. At the rear, its tail appears to be a broad brightly spotted fan. Taken in as a whole, lying in a pool of sweet and sour sauce, and garnished with pieces of pineapple, the squirrel fish is exciting in its otherworldly appearance and sweet fragrance.

Without doubt, squirrel fish is delicious. But all said, it is an almost over-the-top, even outrageous, way to serve a naturally delicious fish. I say this because frying a fish and covering it in a sweet and sour sauce isn’t exactly the best way to express its natural flavor, and the natural flavor of this white lake perch is exceptionally unique! In my estimation steaming it is the best way to truly bring out the natural flavor of the flesh, skin, and broth. The first time I had mandarin fish steamed was at a Christmas party where I have to admit — with a shame similar to that of forgetting a host’s name at a party — I did not recognize the fish as that same fish who’s company I had enjoyed earlier in the week as squirrel fish. That steamed Christmas fish in the center of the table was uniquely delicious. The fish’s skin had puffed up and with the meat connecting it, became soft, somewhat gelatinous in texture, and was surprisingly fragrant. When people say that they don’t like fish, it’s usually because they find the “fishy” smell to be somewhat off-putting to them. Not so the mandarin fish. When steamed in its own juices, its meat has a surprisingly delicate fragrant flavor. I hadn’t experienced anything like it before.

After discovering the fish’s name — gui yu — I felt like a culinary prince who had found his Cinderella, and I was determined to try my hand at preparing the mandarin fish served, as I had had it at that Christmas party, steamed in its own juices.

You can do this yourself by using either a steamer or a wok if you do the stir-fry steam method. To prepare it in this technique, you’ll need to gut the mandarin fish, and let it sit in a marinade of yellow cooking wine, soy sauce, and salt for a few hours. You’ll also need to cut fresh ginger into small slices. The cooking is easy and quick. First, heat a small amount of oil in the wok, quickly warming the fish on both sides. Then making sure to be careful of the hot oil, pour in the marinade with a little water and cover the wok to allow the fish to steam in this broth. Flip the fish and re-cover the wok, checking both the level of water in the wok and the softness of the meat. When the meat is soft and tender, garnish it with green onions, steaming them for about thirty seconds, and then finally pouring the fish and its broth into a shallow bowl, which you can serve to family and friends at the table.

I’m sure your guests will comment on the unique fragrance of the gui yu, or as it is also known gui hua yu (“banded flower fish”.) Perhaps there is a play on words here, for isn’t another meaning for gui “sweet smelling flower”?[ii] Maybe the mandarin fish isn’t called “flower fish” due to its elegant good looks alone, but also due to the unique floral fragrance of its meat.

Author bio:

Dave Alber is a fine artist in Suzhou, China and the author of To the Dawn, Myth & Medium, and Alien Sex in Silicon Valley. His book Heart of Myth is a global anthology of living myth that unpacks the grammar of world mythology. His Travel Art can be found at DaveAlber.com and in China at ArtAnd.cn.

[I] 花 hua = flower.

[ii] 厥 gui = band, which is the right side of the character 鳜, gui yu or “banded fish”. 桂 gui = sweet smelling flower.

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

Bedding Shanghai comic, two page spread

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Bedding Shanghai comic, two page spread is the entire two page comic created for the 2018 Shanghai Erotic Fiction Contest.

Bedding Shanghai 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! 

Bedding Shanghai is part of the ongoing series, Travel Art.

What does travel mean for you? Does it mean enjoying romantic sunsets on a faraway beach? Does it mean visiting the city of your dreams? Does it mean an adventurous journey to remote locations far off the beaten track; enriching yourself with a cultural experience; or exploring the depths of ancient civilizations?

“I hope that my Travel Art touches and enlivens your sense of fascination and wonder about the world we live in. I also hope that this Travel Art becomes a conversational bridge between your own unique travel experiences and the collective sharing of the magical quality of the journey. The truth is… we live in an amazing world and the continuity of art and culture is one of the great human contributions to that world. With Travel Art, I don’t aim to break this continuity — the shock of the new — but rather to add the “voice” of my brush (even in the smallest of ways) upon this long conversation of life enrichment that remains the sustained contribution of the transmission of art and culture through time.”

“As the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau once stated, ‘When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.’ Similarly, I hope my Travel Art inspires you to celebrate your own adventures — and maybe even commission a painting or two — and share the beauty of our discoveries in this magnificent world we share… together.”

Read more about Travel Art 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