Semantics of Abstinence: Cognitive Blending between the Chinese Character "Horn (角)" and Wine Vessel Design in China

By Kenny Chow and Xiaochao Xi.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

For a long period of time, the study of wine vessel design in China remained in arguments of general theory and investigations of individual objects. Few of them focus on the relations of different utensils for specific uses (like eating, drinking, working, and so on), and their connections to ideological thoughts of people. In this paper, the authors choose the wine vessel as a research topic. At first, Chinese characters and a group of classic wine vessels (bottom-pointed vessels) are analyzed systematically. Then, by the help of cognitive psychology method called the “blending theory,” the design of ancient wine vessels (bottom-pointed vessels) could blend to the Chinese character “horn (角)” conceptually. After that, an argument of semantic representation and origin of the wine vessel design is stated, which also provides a new perspective for designers creating new vessel in modern times.

Keywords: Design Semantics, Cognitive Blending, Wine Vessel

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.184MB).

Kenny Chow

Associate Professor, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Xiaochao Xi

PhD Candidate, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Xiaochao Xi is a PhD Candidate at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.