Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn art by Victo Ngai
The tale begins in the dead of night as a young girl rouses from sleep and with her immediate family prepares to leave behind all that she has ever known and travel across the sea in search of the promise of safety and security.
Wishes tells the immigration story from an unusual point of view. This perilous journey is described through the wishes of inanimate objects.
A bag wished it was deeper.
The boat wised to be bigger.
The heart wished it was stronger.
Interior images of the family collecting their belongings, bidding tearful goodbyes, and navigating the initial stages of the voyage are dark muted shades of gray. The color scheme adroitly changes to fiery reds and oranges as blistering rays of the sun torment the migrants with unrelenting heat. As the destination comes into view the reds soften to pinks and violet. Hope is in sight.
Artwork spans each two-page spread, completely filling the pages. There is no white space. The poignant narrative demands every inch of each page.