"on the level"?
what i found myself wondering about were the qualities of directness and indirectness in the two cultures -- could they have an effect on the art?
here's something i found that i thought was very interesting:
Some cul- tures, such as in the Australia, US, Germany and Britain, generally value a direct style of communication. They like to “get down to business,” “cut to the chase,” and “get to the point”. They do not feel offended or shamed by the kind of direct statements that might be considered offensive in indirect cultures such as in Asia.
In fact, when things are not stated directly, people from direct cultures (such as Australian co-workers) can become confused and frustrated, and might not understand the message at all. They are used to communicating with people whose maxims are “say what you mean, and mean what you say” and “let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’” In these cultures, being direct is how people show respect.
In cultures that use an indirect communication style, such as India, China, Japan, and other Asian cultures, it is very common to encounter situations where people communicate in a way that would not cause someone to lose face. Thus, communication happens indirectly.
Messages are subtly implied rather than explicitly stated, and people are accustomed to reading between the lines for the message. Words such as “perhaps” and “maybe” are often code for “no,” since saying “no” could risk shaming someone. In these cul- tures, being indirect is how people show respect.
Those from indirect cul- tures think of their own style as polite and face-saving, and sometimes see direct communication as rude, blunt and overly aggressive. Those from direct cultures think of their style as open and honest, and sometimes think of indirect communication as “beating around the bush” and a sign that the communicator is trying to be difficult, shifty, or maddeningly vague.
Akio Morita (co-founder of SONY) once said that when Westerners “ask questions or express an opinion, they want to know right away whether the other party agrees or opposes them. So in English, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ comes first.
Each of us intrinsically feels that our style is the “right” style, and the other is the “wrong” style – but in the end, it’s not a matter of right or wrong, but of getting on the same wavelength. ☆
so what do you think? might these very different communication styles be part of why, in so much of japanese art, things, people, landscapes, veer, gracefully sidestep, rather than approaching the viewer 'head on.'
i can face that.