The Last Goodbye is a semi-autobiographical, children's picture book, for all ages, that tells a story about loss and offers a stalgic reminiscence of childhood told using richly illustrated charcoal drawings that have been reproduced in a deep sepia tone. The son sets off for boarding school over the years and later makes the long trip overseas to begin his career. Whether at the bus stop or at the airport, his father is always there to see him off on his journeys. When the son realizes he should spend more time with his father, he finds his father very ill and misses the opportunity to bid his father a final goodbye. Images of the orchid served as a visual metaphor for the transformation of the father, from how his son remembers him while growing up to the sad discovery that his father is longer there to greet him. A surrealistic approach is applied on some pages to reflect the sentimental, bittersweet mood of the story, while the emphasis is placed on storytelling and the passage of time. The inspiration for this book includes the wordless books by Frans Masereel and Lynd Ward from the early 20th century, the montage theory of early Soviet filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein and Lev Kuleshov, as well as the American artist Keith Smiths very influential book The Structure of the Visual Book. In the arttist's own words: I love visual storytelling and its process of unfolding meanings and emotions through the passage of time. By selecting and composing each moment, we can turn the most mundane events into memorable experiences. Connections made through the juxtaposition of images creates visual rhythm, expresses ideas, and tells stories. The Last Goodbye was chosen by an international jury as one of the eight finalists at the Silent Book Contest of the Bologna Childrens Book Fair in 2014, and was exhibited in Montereggio di Mulazzo and then in Milan, Italy.
Yuan Pan is an artist, graphic designer, and illustrator. He studied art and design in China, New Zealand, and the United States. He teaches graphic design in the Art Department of Keene State College in New Hampshire