Brain Pickings

East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait

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German punctuality, Western ego and how to stand in line like a Chinese.

What’s not to love about minimalist infographics — such an elegant way to depict complex concepts with brilliant simplicity. We also have a longtime love affair with social psychology, some of which deals with the fascinating cultural differences between Eastern and Western mentality — from the individualistic tendencies of the West versus the pluralism of Asian societies, to how differently Westerners and Easterners read the emotions of others. Naturally, we’re head-over-heels with designer Yang Liu‘s ingenious East Meets West infographic series, tackling everything from differences in self-perception to evolution of transportation.

Born in China but living in Germany since she was 14, Liu has a unique grip of this cultural duality — and she channels it with great wit and eloquent minimalism in graphics that say so much by showing so little.

Lifestyle: Independent vs. dependent

Attitude towards punctuality

Problem-solving approach

Size of the individual's ego

Perception: How Germans and the Chinese see one another

How to stand in line

Complexity of self-expression

The evolution of transportation over the last three decades

The volume of sound in a restaurant

Catch an interview with Liu about the project over at the always-excellent NOTCOT. The book is still finable online and an absolute delight.

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