Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

It is called “The arrival” and you could call it a silent movie graphic novel. I guess you could also call it a comic but that would be quite insufficient a characterization considering the artistic achievement of Shaun Tan’s work. Immigration, the voyage from the familiar to the foreign and the unknown. What you leave behind and what you carry with you. A family torn apart and reunited.

The photorealistic drawing precision of the known, devoid of any identification, is in constant interaction with the imaginative plane of the new and the strange. They playfully mix into landscapes of the mind where history and the future blend effortlessly and everyday objects are enveloped with the magical aura of an archetype nostalgia and an imprecise shape of things to come. If nevertheless, this is a measure of the things to come from Shaun Tan, then we are in for some pleasant surprises in the future.

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