Understanding Visual Languages

Hanyang University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Understanding Visual Languages

  • Host University

    Hanyang University

  • Location

    Seoul, South Korea

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, Media Studies, Visual Arts, Visual Communications

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    While visual language can refer to an artist or designer’s vocabulary, which
    can include the employment of words and a relationship between looking
    and reading, it is also about the manipulations of objects, matter, images,
    figures and place-making. Indeed, what is often referred to as a “visual
    language” might be more aptly analyses as a multi-sensory phenomenon,
    activating various visual, spatial, kinesthetic and auditory ways of knowing,
    schematics of power and social conventions. This course offers a critical
    examination of visual language in contemporary art and media, including
    photography, video, performing arts, animation, and game design.


    Though this is not a technical skills course, students will engage in case
    review and practice, to develop a conceptual framework from which to
    identify how artists attempt to engage in conversation about difficult
    questions, and imagine new world potentials. Grounded in both a foundation
    of knowledge and experience, students will proceed to develop a research
    project on visual language in relation to civic engagement and a difficult
    question of their choosing. Students will have renewed understanding of
    their visual experiences and improve upon critical thinking and creative


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