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Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In 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 WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author in Melbourne.
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. Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Tales from Outer Suburbia is a collection of very short, whimsical stories about strange things happening in very ordinary places.
His illustrations and picture books are for an older age bracket, but in essence provide for people of any age, on any level. It is his artistic style and content of choice that would provoke any audience into discussion - from environmental sustainability to the role of picture books, day-dreaming escapism to adolescent depression.
Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar's WALL-E.
In February 2011 Shaun was awarded an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for The Lost Thing based on his picture book of the same name.
In March 2011 Shaun was awarded the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award – an award set up to honour children’s and young adult writers and illustrators around the world.
Find out more about Shaun Tan and his work by visiting www.shauntan.net