WOW Member Feature : Alexandra LEXI Conrad 龚织女
Lexi is the perfect artist that every woman would love to be. She is a visual arts teacher, costume designer, blogger, photographer, web designer, wife and mother of two adorable boys. Her love for the arts and passion for creating and teaching it is what makes this multilingual speaker admirable. She is the gracious host of WOW’s Sewing Circle and is THE ultimate quilt maker of the group. Be inspired to explore Wuhan in all its richness as she recommends her top spots for a mini Art Appreciation tour of the city. Also, find out why Hanyang is the perfect home for her family.
Enjoy the read and until next month!
How long have you been living in Wuhan? 2 years
What is the main charm of Wuhan? The markets and street food
What sets Hanyang apart from Hankou and Wuchang? To me Hanyang feels like a rural suburb of Wuhan. Often in Hanyang I feel like I could be back in the US – lots of trees, wide roads, bike lanes, lakes & tranquility and shiny new shopping malls.
As a teacher and mother of two boys, what are the merits and drawbacks of raising your children in Wuhan? The merits are many. My kids get to discover so much here: food, traditions, festivals that will enhance their views of the world and compliment the cultures from the home country– they are free here; children are able to be children here – if they are loud or rambunctious that is not frowned upon. I also appreciate that certain things cost less here. It’s easy and fun for me to get materials like paint, canvas, fabric and other materials to craft, play and experiment creatively with my boys and my students. The drawbacks would have to be health related. I worry if I’m neglecting my kids’ health – too much pollution, are they getting all the necessary vitamins, am I buying the right (non-toxic) soap….
If you were to give a little tour to a group of art enthusiasts, which 5 places would you take them to see? 5 places is too few! I narrowed it down to my top 6, but it wasn’t easy!!
- Wuhan Museum 武汉博物馆 in Hankou for the early history of Wuhan,
- Hubei Art Museum 湖北美术馆 in Wuchang to see contemporary Chinese art,
- Qingchuan Pavilion 晴川阁 in Hanyang to see traditional Chinese architecture
- Tanhualin Street 昙华林 in Wuchang to see the Han embroidery and walk in a hutong style street
- the Bund 汉口外滩 & former foreign Concessions in Hankou
- Crazy Market 汉正街 in Hankou
Cite an experience which made you say to yourself—Only in Wuhan… I would have to say the crazy driving that goes on here and the balance a whole family can have while riding on a scooter – with an infant in arms, eating a bowl of noodles and chatting on a cell.
How has WOW helped you adapt to this city? All WOW activities – breakfast, teas, crafts fair, sewing circle are like my therapy sessions. Of all ages and of various walks of life, I feel safe, happy and connected to the wonderful women in the group; time spent together is encouraging and rich in cultural exchanges and friendships. WOW helps me get out to discover this great city.
What advice would you give to a newly expatriated family living in Wuhan. Give yourself at least three or four months to adapt and get acclimated to the place. It’s important to make connections and find positive elements in the everyday chaos. There is a good side to everything! Keep your chin up and look at the bright side!
Living in Wuhan has made me appreciate Chinese culture and customs, both the ancient ways and the modern. Before living in China I had lived in Japan for 5 years. Learning Chinese and about Chinese culture is like studying Latin after learning French. I love discovering the roots behind the language and customs, the Etymology of the characters, and how the association with one another yields yet another meaning; it is fascinating!