University of Tasmania

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Visual meanings in Vietnamese picture books: exploring Vietnamese artists’ perspectives on the yin-yang balancing

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:56 authored by Huynh, NT, Angela Thomas, Vinh ToVinh To
ABSTRACT Picture books are reported as beneficial for children to develop cultural and intercultural awareness. However, little research has examined the ways in which Asian picture books can be interpreted with Asian philosophies. This paper aims to examine perceptions of contemporary Vietnamese artists towards the application of the Taoism Yin–Yang balancing principle, particularly the concepts of Yin, Yang, and Qi in their artworks. Findings from interviews with artists reveal that the Taoism Yin– Yang balancing principle is essential for Vietnamese artists to create visual meanings in their artworks. Our analysis also indicates that Taoism concepts of Yin, Yang, and Qi are applicable to interpret visual meanings of picture books about Vietnam. These findings are significant for teachers to explore visual meanings in Vietnamese picture books specifically and provide researchers with ideas to develop a framework that can account for non-Western meaning-making in images of picture books.


Publication title

Social Semiotics






Faculty of Education



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2021 Informa UK Limited

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Languages and linguistics; Literature