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Hypoiconicity in the architecture of Suzhou: authentic resemblance, diagrammatic reduction, and metaphoric displacement

Chu, Y. (2018) Hypoiconicity in the architecture of Suzhou: authentic resemblance, diagrammatic reduction, and metaphoric displacement. Social Semiotics . In Press.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2018.1531548
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Abstract

In this paper, I discuss the architecture of the Chinese city of Suzhou from the perspective of hypoiconicity, Charles S. Peirce's subdivision of iconicity into direct resemblance, diagrammatic resemblance and metaphoric resemblance relations. Accordingly, the paper distinguishes our iconic recognition of traditional, architectural motifs in old Suzhou from their diagrammatical representations, and their metaphoric displacement in the modern parts of the city. At the same time, the paper provides a minimal sketch of the city's cultural background as a frame of reference for my argument, as well as photographic evidence, without however addressing photographic iconicity itself. Instead, the focus is on how we recognize traditional architectural motifs in terms of their quality, their internal structure, their repetition in the cityscape and emplacement, and how their modern modifications revive, and yet differ from, their traditional function. As such, architectural motifs are viewed as a significant feature of human dwelling within the broader domain of social semiotics.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/42448
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