Taken a year ago when we did a 4-part feature on Suzy Lee’s wondrous art for our Wordless Picture Book theme.

I feel quite nostalgic as I do this AFCC Update since this would be a little bit of a tribute to Suzy Lee who, I am very sad to say, is leaving Singapore in a few weeks’ time. It was only a year ago when we did a four-part feature on Suzy’s fabulous books here in GatheringBooks. Check out the links below.

Since I discovered Suzy’s picture books, I’ve admired her creative vision, her artistry, and the depth that could be discerned through her artwork. There are multiple layers in her picture books that show a different window to a child’s soul, a different vantage point from which children’s books can be perceived. I call her a closet-academic, since I’ve always felt that she’d be a wonderful mentor/teacher to young artists as she explains her creative process and share her vision.
AFCC 2011. Dinner with Pooja Makhijani and Suzy Lee after the Festival.

It really is such a pity that Singapore has only discovered her quite recently. While Suzy attended last year’s AFCC, it was only through my invitation and Pooja’s that she ‘visited’ and checked out the Festival. I am so glad that she liked what she saw, enough for her to agree to be one of this year’s Keynote Speakers!

During Suzy’s session, she explored the gap in-between: of being an adult and being a child, the border between grown-ups and children, and the gutter between fantasy and reality. It is always amazing to hear her speak. It is a double privilege for me since I’ve also heard her talk about this concept when we both gave a talk in Mumbai, India November of last year. It was also great to hear that she has a new book out!

Unfortunately, it is not yet available in English. This book details the entire creative process behind what she calls her Border Trilogy: Shadow, Mirror, and Wave. I’ve flipped through the pages and saw some of her original sketches along with detailed explanations of the ideas behind the artwork. I am crossing my fingers that it would be made available in English very very soon as I am more than certain that a lot of illustrators, young artists, book enthusiasts would benefit from her insights.

In her talk, she also showed video clips with glorious sound accompaniment of her wordless picture books. It was, hands-down, awe-inspiring.

Photo taken in Mumbai India, November of last year.

Singapore will truly miss you, Suzy.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

1 comment on “AFCC Update 5: Love to Suzy Lee

  1. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Finalists in Cybils Fiction Picturebook |

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