Monday, February 25, 2008

Shaun Tan on the fundumental strangeness of reality

"Everything is really fundamentally mysterious. In learning to recognize meaning and familiarize ourselves with our everyday world — to make sense of it all, and manage our lives — we tend to overlook this basic fact. Things become familiar, obvious, self-evident. For me, the practice of drawing and writing is an opportunity to consider what is otherwise, to look at certain objects, qualities, and situations at length and interrogate them to the point where you can appreciate their fundamental strangeness, or uniqueness. Art is about getting to that point of stopping and examining something for long enough that you actually see how unique and weird it is."

-Shaun Tan interview in Locus Magazine

Tan is a new favorite of mine, his recent book The Arrival is an absolutely beautiful wordless novel about a man immigrating to a new place. He does an amazing job showing the reader what it is like to be immersed in a forign culture with a different language, and a different way of life. By creating a world that is slightly fantastic, he lets us realize how strange our own world is when we are new to it.

Related posts:
Richard Vander Wende on the Fantasy of Reality

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