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Asia Supermarket Market Guidebook Project

By: Andrey Mukhin, Jacob Palermo, Grace Andersen, Ivy Dowdle, Sarah Lewis

Located on 50 Mill Street in Worcester Massachusetts, in the Mill Street Plaza, the Asian Supermarket provides a true, authentic taste of Asia. This market has everything you need to create a delicious Asian meal.

Amy, a friendly employee of this store for over one year, explained the perks of shopping here. “It is a great market,” she stated. “It has authentic food with fresh seafood and meat.” Later, Amy admitted that her favorite food at the market is, “everything!”

The Asian Supermarket is in a town with an abundant amount of brick buildings. Near the Asian Supermarket, there is a car repair shop located directly in front of the strip mall where the market is. Directly next to the supermarket is an Asian Buffet Market with a similar storefront.

Inside the Asian Supermarket, every shopper will quickly find the food they intend to purchase. Whether it is Thai noodles or Chinese sauces, look up at the directory signs and find it. The store’s organized layout is easy to understand, as each good can be found in its correct isle.

The Asian Supermarket is a place anyone can go to to get unusual and delicious foods that are challenging to come by anywhere else. Processed and fresh foods are quite intriguing. Coconuts might not be surprising, except for their sheer number, but ice cream made of baby red jackfruit and “green juice flavored rice fruit” cookies sound less trivial. Mochi is now popular enough to make it to most food stores, but extra-hot varieties of peppers that burn your tongue are a special experience by all means. Then there is durian, a porcupine-looking fruit, with an unusual smell that is so pronounced that some local governments in Asia ban the consumption of this fruit in public spaces.

Strawberry Mochi- Ivy

Craving a sweet and chewy dessert? The soft, dumpling-like strawberry mochi is a delicious choice with a strong, sugary aroma. The inside filling squirts sweet and tangy strawberry flavor into your mouth as soon as you take a bite. Anyone who tries this dessert will undoubtedly want to return to the Asian Supermarket for more of these fresh packaged treats.

Litchi Cakes and Pomelo- Sarah

Litchi cakes are one of the best options for someone who loves a crumbly-sticky dessert. There was a crumbly pastry on the outside, concealing a very flavorful sticky-sweet jam in the middle.

If you love grapefruit, it will be very hard to resist buying one of the pomelos. It looked the same as a giant grapefruit, and tasted like one too. The only difference, the flavor was slightly sweeter than a regular grapefruit.

Green Juice Flavored Rice Fruit- Grace

Green juice flavored rice fruit, despite its unusual and vague name, is quite good. It has a light, crunchy, powdered feel to it, and when eating it, it has a slightly salty flavor with a mild, spicy aftertaste.

Meat - Andrey

We all know the basic meats that people consume, but steaks and pork chops are better left for a typical supermarket. Here people come for cow and chicken stomachs, pork feet, all sorts of tails, hearts and livers, a few tongues, pre-fried blood, or even omasum tripe. And if you are like me, it would take you a consultation with google to learn that the latter is a third part of a cow’s stomach lining. Piles of dried squid next to meat and glassy eyes of live or at least whole fish that are about to become dinner, complete the picture.

Seafood- Jacob

While a fairly large number of the foods in this market are fresh, the seafood is what stuck out to me the most. There are examples of fish in ice waiting to be purchased by any customer as well as a mini aquarium in this market. Below the ready-to-purchase fish, there is yet another tank containing live crabs and smaller fish to the left. It is not uncommon to see a lobster tank in stores, but to see a wide range of aquatic live is rare and marvelous. As a side purpose, it could make good entertainment for younger children, as to entice them to come with you to the supermarket. Having live fish there serves as proof that the seafood being sold there if fresh.

Untethered Program Note (By Grace Andersen)

I created this original piece using a mix of Chinese and Western sounds and instruments. I use a synth, bass synth, shakers, a beat sequencer, and strings as Western instruments, and I use a Dizi, similar to a flute, and Guzheng, similar to a harp, as Chinese traditional instruments.

The beat is moderately paced. It is calming, but also energizing. The bass synth gives the song a bass line, and the Dizi gives a high melody with a percussion accompaniment from both the shaker and beat sequencer. The rest of the instruments add harmony that makes it more sound layered. The song slowly builds by adding instruments systematically until it reaches the climax in which it picks up speed for a few beats before slowly removing instruments in an order that smoothly leaves only the melody and bass line before ending with only the melody.

I named this song Untethered to symbolize how I feel every time I listen to or create music. The music takes me somewhere new and exciting with each song, and it lets me drift away from my life and relax even if only for a few minutes. It makes me feel as if I’ve been untethered from all of the stress in life that tries to weigh me down. It makes me feel like I could just let go and fly.

Shibori Infinity Scarf (By Sarah Lewis (video) and Ivy Dowdle (writing))

I created an indigo shibori infinity scarf for the market guidebook project. I wanted to make a beautiful and wearable piece of art that was inspired by my visit to the Asian market. On this trip, I viewed different forms of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, etc. art, and I soon discovered that Shibori dying is a commonly practiced tradition in East Asia. To create a shibori design, I folded a long strip of cotton cloth in half and folded it, alternating sides with every crease. I then used two square pieces of plexiglass on either side of the folded cloth intending to form white squares in the pattern. I secured it with nine rubber bands (three on each side). Finally, I dropped the folded design into a bucket of deep indigo dye and let it soak for two nights. Afterwards, when the fabric had absorbed the dye, I removed the Shibori from the bucket, placed it in a half water-half vinegar mixture, and let it sit for two hours. When the two hours had passed, I rinsed the excess liquids from the scarf by gently rinsing it with warm tap water. Next, I unfolded the scarf. The outline possessed a majestic indigo color, and imprints of white rectangles lined the two sides of the scarf. I then sewed the scarf into an circular pattern, forming an infinity scarf.

This scarf demonstrates an idea of independence and uniqueness. Every Shibori design turns out differently, and each artist has the freedom to create and test extraordinary patterns of their own. My goals for this project were to complete a piece of clothing by sewing. I love working with the sewing machines and would love to continue working with this type of media in the future.

Chinese Dragon (By Jacob Palermo)

My artwork looks like a red and gold Chinese dragon. I picked red because it is the most powerful type of Chinese dragon. It is heavily based on East Asian culture because eastern dragons are prevalent in many East Asian cultures. The title is simply Red Dragon. The elements and principles that are most obvious in this work are the red and gold dragon, which covers most of the picture. I have clouds in the background. It is in colored pencil. I looked at images on the internet to help me draw the scales. I drew with a pencil. I colored in the scales individually and collectively to show two different art styles The big idea was that I am very good at drawing dragons and dragons are involved in almost all East Asian culture. I tried to show new year with red and gold. I like to draw reptiles and people and my goal as a artist is to get better at that. It did because this is one of the best Eastern Dragons I have drawn. I learned that I drew better when I take my time. This is not the final priced that I imagined, but it is better than what I imagined. It will because I might draw more Eastern dragons.

The Chinese Dragon

Shadow Theater Cutouts (By Andrey Mukhin)

My work represents a still life of a shadow theater, capturing two separate scenes from a play. Various shadow theater images inspired me to work on these two pieces on a typical 8x12 paper. I used a xeroxed blow-up version of the pieces to cut puppets’ outlines from black paper, to apply it to the white surface afterwards. Shadow theater is a culturally significant art form for most Asian societies, and this type of theater dates back to times immemorable. In places like Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and others in the region, shadow puppets range from simple silhouette outlines to elaborate cutouts with intricate details, and many puppets are true masterpieces. Historically, some shadow puppets were carved out of dark patches of elephant skin, but eventually paper became commonplace. The skill of puppeteers has also been widely respected in Southeast and East Asia, and the stories that they tell have been recited for centuries. Even nowadays, most festivals include puppet theater, and children learn traditional fairy tales at a young age. My first goal was to tell the story of the shadow theater and to emphasize its significance. Yet I also wanted to demonstrate that respect for various cultures and engagement of their artforms can be inspirational. That’s why one of the stories that my artwork represents is distinctly from the West (the Robin Hood kind of image), but its expression through the shadow theater scene is clearly from the East.

Thank you!

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