Popping Up with Colette Fu

Award-winning pop-up book artist Colette Fu was invited to speak at the 25th Anniversary Library Fellows Meeting (now renamed the Book Arts Fellows). Based in Philadelphia, Fu creates books that, when opened, unfold to reveal springing, stunning sculptural presentations of her photographs. The books on display at the meeting were part of the series We are Tiger Dragon People, based on photographs taken when she traveled through China’s south-western Yunnan province, where her mother was born.

The group purchased Stone Mountain for the museum’s collection.

Stone Mountain (The Song of our Ethics), Part of the We are Tiger Dragon People project, Purchased by the Book Arts Fellows as a gift to NMWA; Photograph: Laura Hoffman

Stone Mountain (The Song of our Ethics), Part of the We are Tiger Dragon People project, Purchased by the Book Arts Fellows as a gift to NMWA; Photograph: Laura Hoffman

Fu received an MFA in Fine Art Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has received many full-funded artist residency grants, including a Fulbright Research Fellowship to China. She taught herself pop-up techniques by deconstructing books that she found on Ebay ad in stores, and artist-in-residence programs gave her the opportunity to develop projects such as Balls: Sara City Workout Mania, Spaghetti: Skinner Macaroni Factory, and many others. Her skills with pop-up books are a testament to her talent, dedication, and patience.

Colette Fu showing her book Axi Fire Festival; Photograph: Laura Hoffman

Colette Fu showing her book Axi Fire Festival; Photograph: Laura Hoffman

In an interview, Fu stated, “My pop-ups are a way for me to speak, mediate, express, delight and inform. Constructing pop-ups allows me to combine intuitive design and technical acuity with my love of traveling as I try to understand the world around me.” Fu has also crafted commissioned pop-ups for General Electric, Vogue China, Canon Asia and Louis Vuitton. “With pop-up books I want to eliminate the boundaries between book, installation, photography, craft and sculpture.”

Find more photos of the meeting and Colette Fu’s work on the Library’s Flickr page and Fu’s website.

—Jennifer Page is the Library Assistant in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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