A Multimodal Analysis of Traditional Chinese Paintings: Based on the Grammar of Visual Design

Haotian HOU, Yue WANG


With the development of multimedia technology, the modalities in culture interpreting are diversified, and it is essential to investigate the function of multimodal semiotics in intercultural communication. Based on Kress and Van Leeuwen’s grammar of visual design, we discussed its adaptation in the traditional Chinese count painting and the meaning of depicted semiotics in cultural innovation in the Application of the Chinese paintings the Twelve Beauties of Prince Yong published by the Palace Museum. As one of the representatives of Chinese count lady painting in the Qing Dynasty, it is found that the Twelve Beauties of Prince Yong could conform to the fundamental principle of the grammar of visual design. Although two distinct modalities—image and text—are related tightly, they express meaning and load information through different visual positions. Interpreting the traditional culture with multimodal perspectives can highlight the core based on containing originality and close to contemporary aesthetics. It is hoped that this study can promote the conversion of some ancient authentic arts or relics from single mode to multimode, enhancing the efficiency of intercultural communication.



Grammar of visual design; Multimodal analysis; Traditional Chinese paintings

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12732


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