Book review: East Meets West guides you through cross-cultural differences with graphic simplicity

Yang Liu’s subtle and witty pictograms condense a lot of knowledge into a form that can be grasped immediately

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 November, 2015, 5:15pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 November, 2015, 5:15pm

When Beijing-born graphic designer Yang Liu moved to Berlin at the age of 13, the differences between China and her new home left her shocked.

Everything from the way people queued, socialised, treated the elderly and expressed their feelings were different in her new world, and as she developed into an artist, Liu started representing these stark contrasts (often with considerable humour) in vivid pictograms, with red representing China and blue representing the West.

These infographics have now been collected into the new book East Meets West (published by Taschen). As Liu writes in the book’s introduction: “I hope to be able to help other people avoid some of the stumbling blocks to communication between cultures and make it easier for them to arrive at the essence of communication – the exchange between individuals – as far as possible without misunderstandings.”

For anyone who has ever encountered similar cross-cultural stumbling blocks, East Meets West could serve as a road map for improved communication.