While exchanging pictures with people from around the world has become a habit in the age of web-based picture-sharing, verbalizing messages conveyed by visual mediums such as paintings has been a tough task for centuries. This paper presents an intercultural experiment, which associates classical music and soundscapes, as international languages capable of arousing emotions—with two contemporary paintings—in order to facilitate the verbalization of visual messages. The reactions of young adult university students from China and Japan, two countries particularly engaged and involved in the experience of Western classical music, are compared to those of their Western counterparts. Assuming the universality of emotions, the experiment examines the functions of pieces of music and soundscapes. Quantitative and qualitative analyses explore associations and personal memories made when pairing visual and auditory mediums, as well as participant ability to understand metaphorical meaning contained in the paintings. The findings strengthen arguments for the use of cross-sensory coupling in the art and the language classrooms, where intercultural competence and tolerance towards differences could be developed through a verbal exchange based on emotional responses, aroused by wordless mediums.
|Keywords:||Art Education, Universality of Emotions, Cross-sensory Coupling|
PhD Student, Teacher of German as a Foreign Language and German Literature, Department of German as a Foreign Language, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Thuringia, Germany