Interview with Yang Liu- 11.13.07
NOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Jean posted about Yang Liu’s Ost trifft West (East Meets West) exhibit back in September. Being that I worked with Yang at Chermayeff and Geismar when I first moved to New York, I offered to do an interview with her about the project. Yang is a great graphic designer whose work has always been bold and iconographic, and Ost trifft West doesn’t stray from that rigor. Even though I can’t read either German or Chinese, the images clearly and wittily communicate the differences between the two cultures. Check out more images and an interview with Yang Liu below!
1. How has your own cultural identity (Chinese born, German raised) influenced your work? Which culture do you identify with most?
I’m neither feeling myself as a Chinese or German. The Asian and European parts both have influenced me and my works. Actually, [my time in] New York has helped me a lot to identify myself. I’m feeling myself more as a person, who belongs to all the places I have been to. I also started this project in New York. The distance gave me a better view on my personal history…
2. What has the Chinese response been to the “East Meets West” project? What has been the German response?
The Chinese response was very positive. I was a little worried about the reactions - I’m sure there are people who like [the project] more or less - but after five exhibitions since May this year (two in Berlin, two in Beijing, and 1 in Nanjing), 99% of the reactions has turned out very positive. The German side is the same; I was surprised how much both sides were interested in this work.
3. What’s next for the project?
There is an exhibition coming up soon at the University of Aachen in Germany, an exhibit at the Museum of Communications in Berlin in March, a solo show at the State Art Museum in Dresden from February till the end of the year, an exhibition at the Olympic Museum in Switzerland, and a few more shows and lectures in Germany and in China with this project.
4. Any funny stories about the project/exhibition to share?
Since my first exhibit [for East Meets West], there are a few hundred websites discussing the project, and a lot of them are describing me as a man, and even better - an old man…They are mostly very surprised when they do find out my identity.
There’s also discussion about how I found all this content, whether through interview or research or theories…The fact is that each single illustration is my very personal experience in the past 13-17 years, and this work was made as a documentation my own life.
A few visitors [to the exhibitions] have told me that they understand more about their current relationship to certain persons in their life better through my book, which makes me really happy!