In illustrator and artist Page Tsou’s surreal kingdoms, the mechanical and the man-made feature heavily as juxtaposed subjects. Pair this concept with his background – Taiwan born and based with a London stint and an MA at the Royal College of Art – and you start to get a sense of the limitlessness of his drawings. His 2010 London project The And focused on the hairs of society and featured drawings of the backs of dozens of human heads. He also illustrates children’s books and is the founder of the studio Auspicious.
Who is Page Tsou?
I am an artist and the founder of small studio called Auspicious. My works include commercial and non-commercial projects.
You have lived both in Taiwan and London. How did those two places form your views on the world and in your art practice?
All my skills were trained in Taiwan. London gave me a wider viewpoint to the world. Moreover, I realised the concepts and discovered the creativity that are now at the core of my work.
What particularly appeals to you about working in graphite?
Graphite is one of the most familiar media for me since I was little. In my opinion, graphite is to drawing as concrete is to building.
I see a bit of retro futurism or steampunk references in your work, and plenty of surrealism; would you say that you have an underlying theme in all your pieces?
The contradictory and paradox nature of human beings is one of my favorite subjects. In Toy Gun, I wanted to talk about war and peace. In The And, I am focused on the relationships between appearance and essence.
There are a few bowler hats too. How come?
The bowler hat is one of my favorite objects. I like the mysterious and story-telling feeling of them.
Could you talk a little bit about your own interpretation of the Tiny Pencil theme, Death and Resurrection?
When I thought of this topic, the first thing that came to me was metaphysical death and resurrection. Afterwards, I tried to think of this concept in a more humorous way. I thought hide and seek could be the perfect metaphor for this. The concept of the game is about the circle of death and resurrection.
Wood or Mechanical?
What other materials do you enjoy using?
To find out more about Page’s previous projects, or to get a hold of his work check out his website at www.pagetsou.com.
Page also features in Issue 4 of Tiny Pencil: The Death & Resurrection Issue! Available to buy here.
This interview was brought to you by Ysabelle Cheung and The Tiny Pencil – fine purveyors of the pencil arts. Follow us on twitter @TheTinyPencil, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram for the latest news on all of our new anthology artzines.