Culture Shock

Picture 6A friend on Facebook posted a link the other day to an interesting art exhibition by Gade, who was born in 1971 in Lhasa (to a Chinese father and Tibetan mother).

As the series is described:

Paintings from his ‘New Buddha Series’ and his ‘Diamond Series’ reflect this culture shock with images of such American iconic pop figures as Mickey Mouse, Spiderman and the Hulk appearing in the centre of traditional-looking works. Gade points out that these figures show up in every corner of the earth. “When I visited a tiny village called Pazi at the base of Mount Xishabangma (8,102 metres) in the Himalayas, the kids there had backpacks with Mickey Mouse on them, and were drinking Coca Cola. That made me realise the incredible power of those ubiquitous emblems of Western culture and Western values.”

And it got me thinking: how is this art not an example of code switching? And how is code switching not just a synonym for culture?

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