Talking Points: Shaun Tan

A collection of sources and imagery to explore the work of graphic artist Shaun Tan.

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Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan grew up in Perth and works as an artist, writer and film-maker in Melbourne. He is best known for illustrated books that deal with social and historical subjects through dream-like imagery, widely translated throughout the world and enjoyed by readers of all ages. –Shaun Tan

See more of Shaun Tan’s work on his website.

Shaun Tan’s Sketchbook Work

Watch the film below to hear how Shaun approaches his early sketchbook work, and how he then develops this into more finished artwork. 

Stop the video at various points so that you can have a discussion with the children to help them think through what Shaun might mean by his various working practices.

The Arrival

Watch the trailer for ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan.

Watch the video above to see the full animation of Shaun Tan’s graphic novel. 

Questions to Ask Children

Do you like Shaun Tans work? Why?

How do his drawings make you feel?

What kind of atmosphere did you pick up in’The Arrival’? How do you think he achieved this?

Do you think that Shaun Tan was successful in capturing the story without any writing or text? Why?

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