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Shaun Tan (b. 1973) 

Shaun Tan was born in 1973 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. At school he became known as the 'good drawer', which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and since then has embarked on a meteoric career as a writer, illustrator, film-maker and artist. Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery found best in publications such as The Rabbits, 2003, The Lost Thing, 2007, The Red Tree, 2008 and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival in 2007. He has published extensively with Walker Books (London) with titles such as Tales from Outer Suburbia, and Tales from the Inner City and Dog.  

Shaun has also worked as a theater designer, and was as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears A Who!, and Pixar's Wall-E. He has a good working relationship with Passion Pictures, Australia, with whom he won an Academy Award (Oscar)  in 2011, for the film adaptation of The Lost Thing as the Best Animated Short. Among his many accolades he is the recipient of the Kate Greenaway Award (UK) and the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial AwardShaun says about his own work, ‘Most of my time is currently spent writing and illustrating picture books, which have reached quite a broad readership in Australia and overseas via foreign publication and translation into several languages.  They are best described as ‘picture books for older readers’ rather than young children, as they deal with relatively complex visual styles and themes, including colonial imperialism, social apathy, the nature of memory and depression.’ Shaun lives in Melbourne, Australia and continues to work on a variety of outstanding projects. His first UK exhibitions were held at Illustrationcupboard Gallery, London, and he is seen here being interviewed by BBC Television

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