Colorful Dreams by Vofan
Posted on 30 Dec 2020
VOFAN is a Taiwanese artist most commonly known for illustrations created for the Monogatari light novels - his artist handle, VOFAN, is a homage to his love for Sega's mecha brawler, Virtual On - making him a VO-Fan!
With this book, Colorful Dreams, the artist takes a wistful look into the beauty and absurdity of the everyday, his vivid imagination and artistic flair creating a series of connected images that illustrate his flights of fancy. Available in English and published by Vertical Comics, this is a rare opportunity to connect with the thought process of a visionary artist known the world over. Everything from his poetic musings on the raw and functional elements of back-alleys (nicknamed "fire alleys" with their extractors and dirty windows showing a stark contrast to the immaculate frontage) to short tale inspired by his chance encounter with a village shrine, this is a wonderfully imaginative work that really is perfect for children or adults.
What the book most put me in mind of was a trip of my own, taken in a hot Summer on an old train out of Tokyo and on my way to Mount Fuji - sat opposite me in an otherwise empty carriage was a stunningly beautiful local girl dressed in country attire, and though I only snatched a glance before she disembarked (not wanting to be that rude gaijin staring at the locals) my imagination for the sort of life she lived in this remote village, the food she ate and the sort of work she might do in such a rural setting, was ignited. It's the sort of chance encounter VOFAN writes of in this book, and it's wonderful to see his illustrations bring such musings to life. If only I had his skills!
Other stories involve quiet cafes, waiting for a bus at 3pm, ruins and old movies, all of which are inspired by VOFAN's other passion, photography. Each story is prefaced by a photograph, which acts as a point of origin for each tale, and this is a terrific framework for linking all the stories together. Each story has an introduction, with it's assigned photograph, and has a backword to explain how the idea came together.
This is a treasure of a book, even though it's not entirely in a style most will be familiar with. It's an odyssey of unadulterated oddness, rendered with such beauty that it really does feel like dreams caught in rain and stored in a bottle. I really can't recommend this enough to art lovers or dreamers, it's just about the most magical artbook I've ever read.
I'm a little late to the party with this particular review, but by gum was it worth the wait - don't let it slip under your radar, especially when it's less than £15 on Amazon right now!
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