In this global village we live in, there are many differences that exist in how humans live and behave. In particular, there are major differences in how people in the “Western” part of the world perceive things as opposed to those who were raised in the “East.” Some differences are derived from thousands of years of tradition passed on from generation to generation. For example, countries like China, Korea and Japan have been civilizations for many years. The United States, on the other hand, is still a relatively “young” country and in some ways is still finding its common culture. Anthropologists and sociologists have spent lifetimes researching the ways humans live and how we can solve problems and create greater harmony. An artist, who was raised in multiple cultures, decided to make a simple but interesting infographic playing on some of the unique differences between the East and the West.

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 illustrated the social and cultural differences between the Eastern and Western worlds under the title “Ost trifft West,” or “East Meets West”.

It is a series of infographic posters that make accurate and sometimes humorous comparisons between German and Chinese people. The infographics underscore important human elements like the perception of self, expression of opinions and mood. They also compare a few less-serious elements like behavior at a party or the most popular cure for belly ache.

“The fact is that each single illustration is my very personal experience in the past 13-17 years, and this work was made as a documentation of my own life. I am feeling myself more as a person, who belongs to all the places I have been”,- says Liu.

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.

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 blue side represents Germany (or western culture) and the red side China (or eastern culture):

Contacts and connections

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Personal branding

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Self perception

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Cure for stomach ache

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Everyday life of elderly

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The boss

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Standing in a line

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Attitude towards punctuality

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Travelling

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Shower time

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Expressing feelings

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Children in the family

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At a party

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Three meals a day

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Expressing opinion

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Sundays on the streets

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Noise level at the restaurant

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Dealing with problems

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Mood and weather

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Lifestyle: independent vs. dependent

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What’s trending

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Ideal of beauty

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Cultural perceptions: Germans vs. Chinese

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Novelties

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Means of transportation

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Telling the truth

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Talking about money

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You can purchase the book from Amazon.

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