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Image courtesy of Taschen
Problem? No problem.

The cultural differences between East and West, according to one artist

By Annalisa Merelli

Graphic artist Yang Liu has a sharp eye for cultural comparison, honed by personal experience. In 1990, at the age of 13, she moved from Beijing, to Berlin. After exactly 13 years there, she started an illustrated project to document her dual experiences in China and Germany.

Originally created as 47 simple blue and red posters, Yang Liu’s nonjudgmental series playfully captures the difference between cultures: from workplace hierarchy to restaurant etiquette. It has since been shown at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany, and was published in 2007 by art book authority Taschen with the title East Meets West.

Image courtesy of Taschen

“This project reflects very much my personal way of seeing things,” Liu told Quartz. She said that moving as a child gave her the habit of comparing situations and interactions. “Many situations are better understood if they can be seen in relation.”

Juxtaposition appears to be a defining trait of Liu’s work: She has also published a similar series called Man meets Woman, also with Taschen. Here are few revelatory comparisons from East Meets West: 

The boss

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Me

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How to deal with problems

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Lining up to wait

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Telling the truth

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Anger management

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Personal branding

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Transportation

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Expressing an opinion

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Talking about money

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