Artist Brilliantly Compares Chinese vs. Western Culture in Comics

Artist Brilliantly Compares Chinese vs. Western Culture in ComicsArtist Brilliantly Compares Chinese vs. Western Culture in Comics
Carl Samson
January 16, 2018
An artist in China has been amusing and educating people on social media by sharing comics about Chinese culture and how it differs from Western ones.
Siyu, who hails from Beijing, posts illustrations for a comic series called “tiny eyes.”
The artist, who spent the last 10 years in France, the U.K. and the U.S., also shares them on Instagram, with 12,300 followers and counting.
“I started writing comics one year ago, after having the idea of ‘Tiny Eyes’ comics,” Siyu told NextShark. “Before that I’ve never created anything similar, but I decided to try because I think it’s a simple yet powerful way to tell a story combining words and images.”
Check out some of Siyu’s works below:
Chinese people may not be very expressive. Instead of saying their feelings, they show them in actions.
The classic “Tiger Mom,” spouse of the “Eagle Dad”
“During years of living abroad, I found that many people were curious to know about China, but their impressions of China often end up with words like ‘communist,’ ‘pollution’ and ‘no Facebook.’” she said. “While many facts are true, the contemporary, living and multi-faceted Chinese life is rarely heard of. So I started this comic series in the hope of sharing Chinese culture through everyday life.”
A stereotypical image of a Chinese person in Western media is one wearing this hat. However, Siyu wonders, “But two teeth sticking out of the mouth? Someone explains to me please.”
Siyu says that foreigners typically build their perception of China through major news media. She hopes that she can change the heavily political-oriented image of China.
“I realized that there lacks alternative channels for foreigners to learn about China, and I hope to create a space that’s genuine, intimate and fun,” she said.
While the West “blesses” someone after sneezing, Chinese people don’t.
Some Westerners mistake sushi for being Chinese. No, it’s not.
Ah, this one. Siyu suspects “a few horrible people in some obscure places” may do, but most don’t!
Siyu shares: “I’ve experienced student dormitories in three countries: In the U.K. I have my own private room with shared public space; In the U.S. I shared my dorm room with one roommate; In China, I used to live with 5 girls in the same room. This lack of privacy must be shocking for some of you, but in a country with 1.3 billion population, space is always a problem.”
Being an only child doesn’t mean being narcissistic and spoiled.
Because the Chinese are very family-oriented, living with parents when you’re 22 is far from an issue.
Siyu explains: “There’s a Chinese saying ‘三思而后行,’ which means to think twice before taking actions. In history, Chinese value highly reflection and past experience, but acting cautiously and staying wise didn’t save the people from the arrival of the early Western explorers who sailed into the unknown and took chances by risking their lives. China was forced to take actions in its modern history, often times too fast in exchange for development. While too much reflection on the past slows down the process of change and innovation, too much action without thinking results in a waste of resources and irreversible consequences. It’s time for thinkers and doers to meet and learn from each other in this increasingly connected world. It’s happening.”
Siyu is amused at how one question can be answered so differently.
People outside China tend to be more familiar with political figures and entertainment icons rather than artists and scientists.
It’s often hard to accept compliments when you’re Chinese.
Siyu explains: “Chinese people love their food, they spend lots of time savouring and enjoying their meals. Food is not just ‘fuel’ for the body, but a pleasure, an art, and a way of socializing.”
Chinese people — and other East Asians — are often perceived as forever young.
Other countries are known for specific products, but China is known for the tag that’s literally everywhere.
Siyu explains: “While some want to go #darker, others want to get #whiter.”
Of course Chinese people use spoons, too!
Classic culture shock — run for your life!
Soy sauce and vinegar work best for tofu, I’d say.
Siyu explains: “Beauty = Thin. ‘Gaining weight’ brings absolute horror for many Chinese girls, even though most of them are already considered thin in other cultures.”
With China becoming smarter, many consume information and entertainment on their mobile devices. Even children may do this!
Practicality at its finest!
Because, of course, Chinese people excel in so many other things!
“Personally I think that one culture can never fully understand another culture, just like one person can never fully understand another person. But we could choose to listen to each other and to see better.”
We love Siyu’s comics! Did you like the illustrations, too? Follow the series on Instagram for more!
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