We claim that “a picture is worth a thousand words” because the uncaptioned, independent image invites us to enrich it by imagining its story. By this arithmetic, Sun Hsin-Yu’s Silhouettes is a full novel. A young girl is born into a happy family; she goes to school and learns to play the piano very well; lives abroad, gets married and has kids of her own, then is seized by a sudden illness and dies. Throughout the story, Sun Hsin-Yu’s understated yet affecting images fill with the sounds of voice and action under our reading eye.
While the wordless picture book is not a new form, it retains incredible power. For those who wish to experience a story on a level beyond the power of words, Silhouettes is a perfect choice.