City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Research Degree Forum
“Yuan (distance)” perceived through visual-verbal sign systems: with reference to translation of museum catalogue entries for Chinese landscape painting
Mr. JIANG Chengzhi
MPhil candidate, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong
Date: 23 April 2009, Thursday
Time: 4:30 - 5:30pm
Venue: B7603 (7/F, Blue Zone), Academic Building, CityU
The perception of “yuan (distance)” is pivotal for the appreciation of Chinese landscape painting. But little attention has been paid to its significance for bilingual representation of Chinese landscape painting in museum discourse. This research explores the way “yuan (distance)” is represented in museum catalogue entries for Chinese landscape painting, with special reference to examples of Chinese-English translation. The research first offers a brief overview about the notion’s evolution in traditional Chinese painting and relevant discussions in cross-cultural context. Then, it proposes a semiotic-linguistic approach, in which semiotics is used to explain the triangular relation between bilingual catalogue entries and paintings (as a visual sign system) and a functional-cognitive model is designed to examine the presentation of spatial expressions and the activation of “yuan (distance)”-related image schemas. The findings reveal that Chinese and English text conventions may condition in the translated texts the proportion of convictions the notion “yuan (distance)” conveys in different aspects (e.g. tempo-spatial, socio-historic, and aesthetic-philosophic).
Mr. JIANG Chengzhi is a current MPhil student at the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics. His research interest lies in translation studies. He is now under the supervision of Dr. Zhu Chunshen.