Posts Tagged ‘Isolation’

Ost Trifft West

February 8, 2009

A little while ago we stumbled upon a series of prints by Chinese artist Yang Liu.  Yang Liu was born in China but spent a lot of her youth in Germany.  Her series Oft Trifft West focuses on the cultural and social differences between China and Germany, and to a greater extent the West.  Her experiences whilst growing up has given her a unique perspective on both of these cultures, resulting in this quirky collection of images.  It’s easy to say there are broad generalisations within her work, but I think anyone who has spent time between China and the West can appreciate the sometimes comical differences.  Germany is represented by the blue and China the red…

Social networks

Social networks

How leaders/bosses are seen.

How leaders/bosses are seen.

How we see each other.

How we see each other.

Time and punctuality

Time and punctuality

Queuing

Queuing

How we deal with problems

How we deal with problems

The elderlys life is less alienating in Chinese society.

The elderlys' life is less alienating in Chinese society.

How we eat

How we eat

A to B

A to B

How we show emotion

How we show emotion

There’s many more, these are just a few.  I think it’s an interesting commentary on how different China is in comparision to large parts of the world.

The frozen festival returns!

January 6, 2009

Every year from January 5 until February 5, there’s an amazing ice sculpture festival located in the frozen chinese city of Harbin. Now Harbin isn’t cold all year round, but in the winter, due to its proximity to Siberia, temperatures can reach as low as -16 degrees!

We really wanted to get there to see the festival but unfortunately this didn’t happen due to our early departure.

Harbin in photographs is what you’d call a Chinese winter paradise. There’s just something magical about snow. It doesn’t matter what it falls on, the end result is always something beautiful. When we arrived in Wuxi, there had been abnormal massive snowfall – so much so that it created havoc over most of the country – stranding thousands. We missed seeing our part of China buried in snow by mere weeks. In Harbin it’s a regular cycle.

We really wanted to try and catch the gardens of Suzhou under snow, they would have looked simply amazing.

We met a french couple from Harbin while we were staying at Sim’s Cozy Garden Hostel in Chengdu. They said it was actually very difficult living there as they felt completely isolated. Unlike Wuxi, Harbin had very little in the way of ‘Western Comforts.” In Wuxi, you’ve practically got a KFC, Starbucks or McDonalds(sometimes all 3!) on every block, yet in Harbin, there is none of this.

China can be an extremely difficult country to adjust to at the best of times, and for westerners settling in for a temporary period of a year or so, we can really take comfort knowing that yeah, there IS familiar food just down the road if it’s really need(and man, sometimes it so was). I can fully understand how life for them would have been in Harbin. I had no desire to live there, but I really wish we could have made it to the ice festival. One year!


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