Trends in Media and Communication Research in Malaysia
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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Using a history documentary ‘The Kinta Story (1949)’, this article explores the ‘grammar’ of visual metaphor. Numerous images can be found in history documentary, while many more are being planned, which can be accessed by people all around the world. These images technically represent producers’ ideas. They construct connotation and meaning for audiences to read as what the readers want. The visuals are highly posed and set in descript locations to make them usable across the globe. They represent actual places or tragedies and they document witness, which symbolically represents moods such as ‘contentment’ and ‘freedom’. It is argued that visual metaphors cannot be described adequately in formal terms only. Rather, they must be considered as visual representations of metaphorical thoughts or concepts and the changing of time and mass. A cognitive definition of metaphor must not, however, distract from potential variations in meaning and impact which arise from the mode of communication through which metaphors are expressed. This study suggests that many of the dissimilarities between verbal metaphor and its visual counterpart are results from the differences regarding what the two modes are able to express easily and efficiently.


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