Colette Fu (b. 1965)
1. Game Plan
When Fu began her career, she perused bookstores for inspiration. Fu says, “Originally, I wanted to make something like the game of Life but with photos.” Next to a shelf of games at one store, she noticed a stack of Robert Sabuda’s detailed pop-up books. The discovery inspired Fu to engineer her own sculptural books.
2. The Inside Story
Fu taught herself pop-up techniques by deconstructing children’s pop-up books. Later, artist-in-residence programs gave her the opportunity to develop projects. In 2008 the artist received a Fulbright Fellowship to create the pop-up series “We are Tiger Dragon People,” depicting ethnic minorities of China’s Yunnan Province.
3. Mix and Match
Fu combines her photography skills with the precise paper engineering. Fu often combines up to 20 photos in her scenes. Through her use of mixed media and sculptural engineering, Fu achieves a unique collection of works.
4. Large and in Charge
During her six-month artist residency in Shanghai, Fu created China’s largest single spread pop-up book, measuring 8.2 x 16.4 x 5.6 feet. The artwork explored ethnic minority groups of China as an extension of her “We are Tiger Dragon People” series.
5. Phantom of the Opera
Academy of Music, Imaginary Audience, from the series “Haunted Philadelphia,” depicts America’s oldest grand opera house and centers on the theater’s infamous phantom that reportedly pulls theatregoers’ hair and pinches them. Fu’s “imaginary audience” references concerns about being watched by others.
Stop by the museum to see Wanderer/Wonderer: Pop-Ups by Colette Fu, on view in the Teresa Lozano Long Gallery through February 26, 2017.
—Olivia Lussi was the fall 2016 education intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.