Sometimes, all it takes are a bunch of clever comics which would highlight the diversity between different cultures- not as an insult, but to simply show the world that there is unity in diversity. As we all know, there are several differences between Western and Chinese cultures, from a very microcosmic point to a whole macrocosmic degree.
This has been represented by Tiny Eyes, the comic artist, who is also known as Siyu- who has been chronicling the differences in her series of sequential art that portrays some of the myriad differences that would crop up between one living in Beijing, China, and one living in Paris, New York, or London. Through her biting wit and simple, rudimentary drawings, she illustrates the very pivotal point that cultures have their own idiosyncrasies- which shouldn’t be put on a hierarchical scale.
The Subtleties Of the Clever Comics Can Really be an Eye Opener
The clever comics about Western and Chinese culture focus on lots of tidbits that we would have noticed in our everyday lives but have never really given much thought to. This could include the likes of familial relationships, food, and the very assumptions that people living in one hemisphere make about the other.
In a two-panel drawing, the artist highlights how complicated the cutlery in French dining is when compared to Chinese cuisine. In France, there are spoons, forks, and knives- all of which have their own purpose, whereas, in China, a single pair of chopsticks would work for every single course.
Some of the clever comics made by this artist also highlight the dramatic differences in dorm life between China, the U.S, and England. With the paneled drawing consisting of three individuals, the British student was quite appalled that the American would have to share a room with another individual, who in turn was appalled that the Chinese student had to share their dorm with a few other roommates as well.
Regarding this drawing, Siyu stated that while this lack of privacy is definitely shocking for quite a lot of people in the Western side of the world, when you have a population of 1.3 billion, space and privacy are always going to be a problem. On the other hand, having a communal space with around five people would help one understand the lessons of responsibilities, communication, and tolerance.
Siyu’s Comics Show The World What Chinese Culture Really Is
Although Siyu is originally from China, the only way her clever comics would make sense is if she had experienced Western culture as well. And as luck would have it, she had. She has been spending the last 10 years abroad where she has been studying, working, or simply traveling. Many people that she met during her travels were curious about China, but the only impression that they had about Chinese culture was communism, pollution, and the absence of Facebook.
While some of the facts may be true about the nation, living in China is as multifaceted as it can be. The Tiny Eyes comics are simply her way of putting Chinese culture through a global lens that would be accessible, and understandable to all.
Interestingly, Siyu’s clever comics do portray a diversified world that we cannot see from a very individualistic point of view. The subtle differences that Chinese culture has with the West are part of their identity- something they should be proud of. Similarly, the West has its own tradition, history, and culture- something that they are proud of.
All Image Credits: Tiny Eyes