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Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan(1974- )
Shaun Tan grew up in the suburbs of Perth, in Fremantle Australia. From a young age he was considered a “good drawer,” and graduated from college with joint honors in English Literature and Fine Arts. In the U.S. he is best known for his wordless immigrant tale The Arrival, although he has written and illustrated several other books. In 2011, Tan won an Academy Award for Best Short Animated Feature, for the adaptation of his book The Lost Thing. Tan has won two Hugos for Best Professional Artist. To find out more, visit Shaun Tan’s website.
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Shaun Tan’s The Arrival

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan’s The Arrival is a highly acclaimed graphic novel about immigration. There are no words in this graphic novel, allowing Tan to rely entirely on images to reveal the doubts and conflicts that his characters face. On his website, Tan explains that:
"In ‘The Arrival’, the absence of any written description also plants the reader more firmly in the shoes of an immigrant character. There is no guidance as to how the images might be interpreted, and we must ourselves search for meaning and seek familiarity in a world where such things are either scarce or concealed..."
Tan’s approach makes for a remarkably inclusive reading experience. Every reader is invited to empathize with the emotions that play across our unnamed hero’s face, particularly as he boards a ship without his wife a... Read More

The Singing Bones: Haunting fairy-tale sculptures

The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan

I’m not quite sure how to review The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan. It’s not quite like anything else I’ve read, and I’m not sure I know how to review visual art in the first place. But I can certainly recommend it.

This unique book contains photographs of small sculptures by Tan, each illustrating one of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Each sculpture encapsulates its respective tale in one haunting image, often enhanced by the lighting and arrangement of the photo, and accompanied by a short passage from the tale.

"Mother Trudy"

You will be familiar with some of the tales. Others, you might not be. Tan includes a short... Read More