A Semiotic Perspective on Significance of Guanyin in Yu Kwang-chung's Poetic Imagery


  • Zumin Yao Faculty of Liberal Arts


Yu Kwang-chung, Guanyin, image, poems, Semiotics


This paper aims to conduct a semiotic analysis of the metaphorical significance of "Guanyin" in Yu Kwang-chung's poems, with the objective of deepening our understanding of the subtle emotional nuances conveyed by this imagery and providing a fresh perspective on the study of his poems. Through meticulous collation and comprehensive analysis, it is found that the image of "Guanyin" assumes the role of a symbol with universal significance, manifested in his 15 poems. Various specific signifiers are employed, including "Guanyin," "Guanyin Shan" (Guanyin Mountain), "Pusa" (Bodhisattva), "Qianshou Guanyin" (Thousand-Hands Guanyin), and "Guanshiyin" (The One Who Perceives the Sounds of the World), each utilized to evoke distinct signified meanings associated with this multifaceted symbol. At different levels of symbolism, the meaning of the "Guanyin" image varies. The metaphorical construction process of the "Guanyin" symbol in Yu's poetry is rooted in the resemblances between its signifiers and signified meanings. These resemblances encompass both the visual representation and attributes of Guanyin, as well as the personal significance of the Guanyin mountain in Yu's life. Yu's unique life experiences and complex emotions imbue the symbol of "Guanyin" with rich meaning, leading to its gradual elevation to higher levels of symbolism. Ultimately, the "Guanyin" symbol evolves into a representation of "hometown," becoming a vehicle for interpreting and expressing Yu 's profound sense of homesickness in his poems.


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How to Cite

Yao, Z., & NUMTONG, K. (2023). A Semiotic Perspective on Significance of Guanyin in Yu Kwang-chung’s Poetic Imagery. Chinese Language and Culture Journal, 10(1), 367–384. Retrieved from https://so02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/clcjn/article/view/260206



Research article