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Shaun Tan Solo Exhibition – Lost & Found

Shaun Tan

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first drawings for his book ‘The Lost Thing’, Beinart Gallery is proud to present Shaun Tan’s first commercial solo exhibition of book-related sketches, paintings and illustrations, ‘Lost & Found’.


OPENING NIGHT: Saturday, May 5, from 6pm – 9pm. Free entry. Unfortunately, Shaun is unable to attend the opening night but will be conducting a book signing at Beinart Gallery two weeks after the opening. More info about the book signing here.

This exhibition runs from May 5 to May 27 and runs alongside Seeing Between, a two person exhibition with Alex Garant & Lukifer Aurelius.

Shaun Tan

“Anything you can do I can do better.” – Pastel drawing by Shaun Tan.

The Lost Thing became a best seller and was developed into a short film which won the Australian Film Institute award for Best Animated Short in 2010 and an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2011. This exhibition includes both original concept drawings for the book and film and new, unseen work based on the universe of The Lost Thing and other imaginary worlds and creatures.

The Lost Thing began to take form when Tan sat down at his kitchen table one hot January afternoon in 1998 and began pieces that would lead to two decades of drawing, painting, sculpting and digitally animating strange creatures he came to call “lost things,” returning to them again and again like some kind of artistic factory setting. He is still not sure what they are, where they come from or where they rightly belong, which says a lot to him about their resilience and attraction as subjects.

Shaun Tan - Lost Thing film concept art

Lost Thing film concept art by Shaun Tan

The Lost Thing was the first picture book Tan independently wrote, designed and illustrated, and it somehow contained all the joy and angst of being a young artist, not knowing what he was doing or where he was going, which is perhaps why it resonated so well with readers. Tan also came to love working in the medium—picture books ostensibly, but not really, for children—that flew under a certain critical radar: as the book’s subtitle clarifies, it is a tale for those with more important things to pay attention to. While the book was not necessarily an immediate hit, it did gather a passionate following over time and enjoyed the unlikely circumstance of being adapted as an Oscar-winning animated film. As Tan mentioned in the acceptance speech on behalf of the film’s creative team, it’s ironic that a story about such an ignored creature should receive so much focus. Twenty years later, Tan is pleased to be able to show a mix of old and new lost things, including some original working drawings for the book and film, and send them out from the “department of odds and ends” that he calls his studio and into new homes. He hopes to infect others with his fascination with homeless object-animals, of the kind one can see every day but only if one keeps one’s eyes open.

Shaun Tan

“Obstetrician and Cagebird” – Pencil drawing by Shaun Tan

Complimentary wine will be available at the opening. For those wanting a non-alcoholic option, we will also have drinks provided by Remedy Kombucha.

Shaun Tan grew up in Perth and works as an artist, writer and filmmaker in Melbourne. He is best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through dream-like imagery: The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales from Outer Suburbia and the graphic novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout the world and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and a concept artist for Pixar. In 2011 he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden, in recognition of his services to literature for young people.

Shaun Tan

Lost Thing film concept art by Shaun Tan.

PHONE+61 3 9939 3681

CONTACT US for enquiries.

WHEREbeinArt Gallery | 1 Sparta Place | Brunswick | VIC 3056 | Australia

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