«Examining Cultural Drifts in Artworks through History and Development: Cultural Comparisons between Japanese and Western Landscape Paintings and ...»
Similarly, horizons in Western landscapes drastically changed from the 1900s, becoming higher than that of traditional masterpieces. We attribute this cultural drift to the results of Japonisme and Impressionists’ motivation to become free from the constraints of traditional linear-perspective, which bind the viewer’s standpoint onto a single spot, and to invent an alternative expression in landscape arts. Interestingly, the change in the trend in Western arts continued throughout the subsequent time periods—the height of horizon increased in a linear pattern. We interpreted that, since the challenge of impressionism, modern and recent artists such as Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keefe, and Wayne Thiebaud all showed their eagerness to discover new expressions beyond the status quo. However, it is unknown whether the trend will return to portraying lower horizon locations.
Finally, it is note-worthy that general patterns of cultural variations in the location of horizon were observed again in the late 20th century data. We interpret that although cultural drifts produced a variety of changes in artistic expressions, on top of the dynamic process, there is for certain room for people to rediscover their traditional ways of artistic expressions, which results in maintaining substantial cultural variations in artistic expressions. We speculate that the “resistant to change” effect is maintained beyond the artists’ will. The dominant patterns of attention is internalized in the early part of the developmental trajectory, and strongly binds with other types of social cognition such as attitude inference, causal attributions, reasoning styles (e.g. Nisbett, Peng, Choi, & Norenzayan, 1999) and basic perception, notably attention (Nisbett
In sum, historical analyses in Study 1 demonstrated both the resilience to change and cultural drifts. Culture is constantly changing with the East and West influencing each other bidirectionally. At the same time, once an artistic expression becomes dominant in a given cultural milieu such an initial state still be a powerful source to maintain culturally specific trends in artistic expression.
Different from historical analyses over centuries in Study 1, Study 2 focused on rather short term ontogenetic processes. Similar to methods used by Masuda et al. (2008) and Senzaki et al.
(2014), we had adolescent and University students in Japan and Canada create landscape drawings.3 Furthermore, we merged these data with that of Senzaki et al.’s (2014) work with elementary school children in order to comprehensively interpret the developmental trends of psychological tendencies in cultural products.
Methods Participants: Students were recruited from suburban secondary schools in Japan (Iwakuni, Yamaguchi) and in Canada (Sherwood Park, Alberta) and Universities in Japan (Kobe University) and Canada (University of Alberta).
In the Japanese secondary school sample, there were 196 students (85 male, 107 female, 4 unspecified, M = 14.84, SD = 1.55, Range: 11 to 18) and was comprised of 22 seventh graders, 28 eighth graders, 42 ninth graders, 48 tenth graders, 36 eleventh graders, and 20 twelfth graders.
Regarding ethnic background, all of the Japanese secondary school sample identified as Japanese and spoke Japanese as their first language. Two had lived abroad, one in China for 9 years and
In the Canadian secondary school sample, there were 168 students (51 male, 117 female, M = 14.79, SD = 1.54, Range: 12 to 19). These Canadian participants were comprised of 31 seventh graders, 36 eighth graders, 24 ninth graders, 31 tenth graders, 23 eleventh graders, and 23 twelfth graders. A majority (82.74%) identified as European Canadian, 7.14% identified as biracial, 1.8% identified as East Asian, 3.57% identified as Aboriginal/Metis, 0.6% as Hispanic, 2% as East Indian. Two students did not provide their ethnicity. Fifteen students had lived abroad, five in America, five in Europe, one in the Philippines, one in China, one in Egypt, and two in South Africa. Most of the Canadian students (99%) spoke English as their first language – two spoke other languages that were unspecified.
In the Japanese undergraduate sample, there were 75 students (38 male, 36 female, 1 unspecified, M = 19.71, SD = 1.12, Range: 18 to 24). All of the students identified as Japanese and spoke Japanese as their first language. Five had lived abroad for 1 to 2 years (two in China, one in Italy, one in Australia and one in the United States). In the Canadian undergraduate sample, there were 60 students (12 male, 48 female, M = 19.6, SD = 2.32, Range: 17 to 30). A majority of students (93%) identified with being European Canadian. One participant identified with being African, two as Aboriginal/Metis and one as Portuguese. All of the participants spoke English as their first language. Five had lived abroad, one in America, two in Europe, one in the Philippines and one in Brazil.4 Procedure:. In classroom setting, secondary school and undergraduate students in Japan and Canada engaged in a drawing task in which they were instructed to create a landscape using a pencil on a 392 mm in width × 271 mm in height sheet of standard-sized drawing paper.
Consistent with the methodology of Senzaki et al. (2014), participants were instructed that they
they desired to draw to create their landscape artwork (see Appendix C). They were given 10 minutes to complete the task. In order to ensure that the participants understood the concept of a horizon, the experimenter defined a horizon using the following: “When you go outside, you see the sky comes down and meets the ground, and makes one line. That line is called a horizon.” Participants were also reminded that they had to complete the artwork without talking or looking at other participants’ artworks. After the completion of their artwork, they were asked to fill out a simple demographic questionnaire about their gender, date of birth, ethnicity, years lived abroad (if any), and languages spoken at home.
Results Horizon Height. Consistent with previous studies (Masuda et al., 2008; Senzaki et al., 2014), we used the ratio of the location of the drawn horizon line to the entire frame of the drawing paper in order to determine perspective. The horizon line was assessed by two independent coders using the same guideline as in Study 1. Generally, the horizon line was determined by measuring from the bottom of the drawing paper to the drawn horizon line. The interrater agreement for the horizon height was 97% for the Japanese secondary school landscape drawings and 98% for Canadian. For the undergraduate sample, the interrater agreement was 97% for Japanese and 83% for Canadian drawings. Any discrepancies in horizon height were resolved through discussion between the coders and the primary investigator.
A 2(Culture: Japan vs. Canada) x 6(Grade: Grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12) ANOVA was applied to the ratio of the horizon against the entire frame. The results indicated that there was a main effect of culture, F(1, 352) = 56.63, p.001, ηp2 =.139. However, there was no main effect of grade, F(5, 352) = 1.88, p.09. Consistent with previous findings, Japanese secondary school
Canadians (M = 45.78, SD = 15.42), demonstrating their context-inclusiveness. There was, however, a significant interaction between culture and grade, F(5, 352) = 2.59, p.05, ηp2 =.035. The simple effect analyses showed that within each grade, cultural differences were significant for Grade 7, t(352) = 5.36, p.001, Grade 9, t(352) = 2.70, p.02, Grade 10, t(352) = 2.30, p.02, Grade 11, t(352) = 2.68, p.01, and Grade 12, t(352) = 3.79, p.001. However, no significant cultural difference was found for Grade 8, t(352) = 1.23, p.20, indicating minor differences in the pattern of results (Figure 2).
Next, to assess the generational trend of drawing, we combined and contrasted our data with elementary school data from Senzaki et al.’s (2014) and with the university data that we collected, merging the grades according to school level. Again, a 2 (Culture: Canada vs. Japan) X 4 (School Level: Elementary, Junior High, High School, and University) ANOVA was applied to the ratio of the horizon against the entire frame. The results indicated that there was a main effect of culture, F(1, 940) = 75.85, p.001, ηp2 =.075. Consistent with previous findings, Japanese, in general, drew the location of the horizon higher (M = 55.41, SD = 24.34) than Canadians (M = 38.21, SD = 21.55), demonstrating their context-inclusiveness. There was a main effect of school level, F(3, 940) = 30.26, p.001, ηp2 =.088. The locations of horizon in drawings produced by junior high school students (M = 52.45, SD = 19.56), high school students (M = 52.94, SD = 18.22), and university students (M = 56.78, SD = 17.05) were significantly higher than that of elementary school children (M = 39.54, SD = 28.09), ts (940) = 6.71, 6.94, and
8.01all ps.001, respectively. There was a significant interaction between culture and school level, F(3, 940) = 4.79, p.005, ηp2 =.015. The simple effect analyses showed that Japanese
elementary schools, t(940) = 10.50, p.001; in junior high schools, t(940) = 3.90, p.001; in high schools, t(940) = 3.97, p.001; and in university t(940) = 2.01, p.05 (Figure 3).
Free drawings in Study 2a allowed us to measure one’s natural expressions. However, due to the varying quality of artworks, it was difficult to count the number of objects and the area which objects occupied. To overcome these drawbacks and further scrutinize cultural differences and similarity in artworks, Study 2b used Senzaki et al.’s (2014) collage methodology.
Method Participants: Participants were recruited from the same suburban secondary schools in Japan (Iwakuni, Yamaguchi) and in Canada (Sherwood Park, Alberta). In order to see the trends in people’s expression, we incorporated Senzaki et al. (2014)’s elementary school and university data into the later analyses.
In the Japanese secondary school sample, there were 177 students (85 male, 89 female, 3 unspecified, M = 14.82, SD = 1.64, Range: 12 to 18). The sample was comprised of 19 seventh graders, 29 eighth graders, 39 ninth graders, 47 tenth graders, 26 eleventh graders, and 17 twelfth graders. All but one of the Japanese students identified as being Japanese and spoke Japanese as their first language. A majority had lived in Japan for their entire life.
In the Canadian secondary school sample, there were 149 students (38 male, 110 female, 1 unspecified, M = 14.84 years old, SD = 1.41, Range: 12 to 18). The sample was comprised of 27 seventh graders, 26 eighth graders, 26 ninth graders, 30 tenth graders, 20 eleventh graders, and 20 twelfth graders. A majority of Canadian students (81%) identified as being European Canadian, 95% spoke English as their first language and 11% had lived overseas for a short
Procedure: In a classroom setting, secondary school students in Japan and Canada engaged in a collage task. They were instructed to create a landscape using any of thirty premade collage items developed by Senzaki et al. (2014) and placing their selected pieces onto a 392 mm × 271 mm sheet of standardized laminated drawing paper using sticky tack. Similar to Study 2a, they were told to include at least one of the following: a tree, a house, a person, and a horizon, and were given the same definition of a horizon. Horizons were drawn in using a China marker (Appendix D). Participants had fifteen minutes to create their landscape and afterward, fill out a demographic questionnaire about their gender, date of birth, ethnicity, years lived abroad (if any), and spoken languages.
Results Horizon Height. Two coders independently coded the horizon height for the collage landscape images. The interrater agreement was 99% for the Japanese secondary school collages and 93% for the Western collages. Any disagreements about horizon height were resolved by discussion between the coders and the first author.
Similar to Study 2a, a 2(Culture: Japan vs. Canada) x 6(Grade: Grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, &
12) ANOVA was applied to the ratio of the horizon against the entire frame. The results indicated that there was a main effect of culture, F(1, 314) = 42.90, p.001, ηp2 =.120. However, there was no main effect of grade, F(5, 314) = 1.66, p.10, nor an interaction, F(5, 314) = 1.07, p.30.