Rossmoyne student’s shock at taking out Shaun Tan award

Rossmoyne student’s shock at taking out Shaun Tan award

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Rossmoyne Senior High School student Wendi Zeng has earned the plaudits of one of Australia’s favourite illustrators, taking first in the 2018 Shaun Tan Award. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A Rossmoyne High School art student has taken out one of the most celebrated illustration awards in the country, taking out first place in the prestigious Shaun Tan award.

Organised by the City of Subiaco, the award recognises imagination, innovation and creativity in WA school students.

Wendi Zeng beat 1500 other entries to take the prestigious award.

Wendi said she was slightly taken aback to hear her name as the winner.

“Hearing the speaker read out the judge’s comments on my artwork was a suspenseful yet stirring moment,” she said.

“Actually seeing my artwork displayed on the screen and my name being read out for first place felt quite surreal, a mixture of both surprise and content.”

Wendi paints large landscapes, which include a lot of realism and attention to detail something which draws comparison to Tan’s own famous work.

However, she admits she hadn’t thought her artwork was distinctive enough to earn an award at first.

“To be completely honest, in my opinion, I thought my style was quite mundane and equally qualified with many other artworks,” she said.

“However, I’m extremely grateful that the judges saw potential in my artwork as I would like to contribute and re-inspire realism landscape painting in the art industry as compared to the modern art styles in our current generation.”

Thankfully Wendi has taken a lot of inspiration from the merit and the kind words from Mr Tan, and hopes to fulfil a similar career through her own unique style.

“To be acknowledged by Shaun Tan was a great honour and really inspired me to perhaps continue art in the future,” she said.

“His artworks always contain a story, a hidden meaning, and like him, I aspire to one day voice my own stories and experiences through my artwork to the world.”