What kind of insights can we get through the images found in the reciprocal web of Italy and China?
How can we make sense of the reciprocal perceived identities of Italy and China through images?

The project, starting from my personal experience of living in China for almost one year, aims to investigate the peculiarities of the narration of the two countries in the other nation’s web space. In a context where the language barrier represents such a big obstacle, the project attempts to investigate, through Digital Methods, how images take part in this storytelling. Images can be the way and the medium through which we can realize this experiment, taking advantage of both the visual properties and their intrinsic storytelling capabilities.

I see this investigation as an opportunity to frame the big picture we receive everyday about China, as well as a tool to increase the awareness of the way we see and the way we are seen by a culture so radically different. This particular historical moment requires us to discover new worlds and to understand the best way to communicate ourselves to these worlds. More than ever, it becomes important to know how we perceive and how we are perceived by such a different country, particularly interesting both for the peculiarity of culture and the role which it is assuming in the international economical and political power balance.

The experiment consists in the collection, categorization and visualization of two thousand four hundred images for both countries, from rigorously selected national domains (image search engines and web portals), considering the digital as a measure of the impact of new technologies on social life but also as a mean used by the real world as a political and social space. The visual approach and the instrumental nature of these artefacts give them the role of tools for the user. While the uninitiated will identify a big picture of the topic, the specialist will be able to use this work as a tool to test specific hypotheses and intuitions.