Wednesday, 23 January 2019
Thursday, 27 September 2018
Tales from the Inner City, available from late September / early October 2018 in Australia (Allen & Unwin), United States (Arthur A Levine Books), UK (Walker Studio), Canada (Tundra/Penguin Random House), The Netherlands (Querido), and very soon to be released in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Taiwan, China, Poland and other territories. Huge, huge thanks to all publishers, translators, agents, booksellers and readers for your ongoing support and encouragement throughout the year.
Sunday, 26 August 2018
|Human co-workers no like cicada. Oil, 40x50cm|
More notes about the making of this book are now available on my website (under Picture Books). Many thanks from readers who have so enthusiastically embraced – and identified with – the plight of this little bug, a character I've been drawing and sculpting on and off for the past decade.
Sunday, 15 April 2018
I have an exhibition of Lost Thing art running through May at Beinart Gallery, Brunswick Melbourne, which marks 20 years since I first sat down and began drawing and writing the rambling tale that eventually became the book and film. The show includes a selection of some of my favourite working drawings, storyboard sketches and new lost thing art, from 1998 to 2018. You can find out more about it here: https://beinart.org/shaun-tan-solo-exhibition-lost-found/
Monday, 5 March 2018
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Thursday, 23 November 2017
|People waiting at a tram stop, oil on board 20 x 15cm|
Last weekend to see RADIUS at Tinning Street Presents before the works come down. Many thanks to all those who have visited and for the terrific feedback, it's been a pleasure to share this long study of the local neighbourhood with you.
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
|Moonfish (detail) oil on canvas, 150 x 100cm|
A new collection of illustrated short stories will be published by Allen & Unwin in October 2018, similar in style to Tales from Outer Suburbia (2008), about the fraught relationship between humans and animals. I've been working on this project over the past five years and it's great to see it finally come together. I'll post more about it in the lead-up to its release.
Sunday, 19 November 2017
|Some animals are more equal than others, Oil-painted resin sculpture with a re-jacketed first edition copy of Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945). 2017, approx. 40cm high.|
|Detail: piggy bank|
|Detail: Animal Farm dust-cover, acyrlic, pencil and ink on paper|
First Editions Re-covered is a collection of unique first editions with original dust-jackets created by leading artists and designers. Artists chose a book they felt a strong connection to and then created a new jacket or artwork in response to it. The end result is 33 wonderful lots which will be auctioned to benefit House of Illustration.
House of Illustration is the world’s only public gallery solely dedicated to illustration and graphic arts. It is the only UK gallery commissioning new illustration work for public display and runs the only residency for illustrators and graphic artists. House of Illustration is a registered charity receiving no public funding and rely on fundraising to raise over 40% of our income each year.
The books and their beautiful new covers will be on public display at Sotheby’s in London from Friday 8 December until the auction on Monday 11 December. They will be displayed on Sotheby’s website (sothebys.com) and our website (houseofillustration.org.uk) from 10 November, and the printed auction catalogue will be available soon afterwards.
To see the works:
Some animals are more equal than others
My own choice was Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945), a book that has had an immense influence on my imagination as a writer and illustrator. To refresh, it tells the story of Manor farm, where the animals revolt and take over, only to come undone by their own internal politics. One pig in particular, the cunning Napoleon, proves wonderfully adept and dividing the group, fermenting fear, blaming foreigners and revising historical facts. Sound familiar?
When House of Illustration located a rare first edition and sent to to me, I was amazed at how small and unassuming it was, a tiny book bound in green cloth. Small enough, I thought, to not only fit inside a dust-jacket, but a sculptural shrine of some sort. The idea of a piggy-bank for a valuable book came almost immediately, and then raised the question: what makes a book – essentially worthless printed paper – so valuable? Of course, it's the quiet truth it radiates, the very ability to undermine questions of value. Here is the statement written on the inner jacket about why this book is important to me (transcript below):
I first came across Animal Farm by accident: our mother read it to my brother and I, then about 7 and 8(!), thinking it was just another children’s book. She wanted to stop, but we begged her to continue, all the way to the bleak and strange ending. What was it about? As kids, the answer was clear: schoolyard politics in suburban West Australian. Animal Farm remains the book with the deepest subconscious influence on my own work as a storyteller, the absurd fantasy that tells us basic truths about human nature, regardless of time, place or political colour.
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
|Cover illustration for Cicada, work in progress, 2017. Oil and acrylic on paper, approx 50 x 70cm.|
Yes, a new picture book in the works: Cicada, the story of a hard-working corporate bug. Coming 2018; keep your compound eyes alert! I'll post more developmental work in coming months.