Colette Fu received her MFA in Fine Art Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003, and soon after began devising complex compositions that incorporate photography and pop-up paper engineering. She has designed for award winning stop motion animation commercials and free-lanced for clients including Vogue China, Canon Asia and Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton and the Delaware Disaster Research Center. Her pop-up books are included in the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Library of Congress, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the West Collection and many private and rare archive collections. In 2014, Fu attended a 6-month artist residency at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, where she continued her “We are Tiger Dragon” project, an extensive visual exploration of China’s ethnic minorities. There she also designed China’s largest (1 spread) pop-up book measuring 2.5 x 5 x 1.7 meters high.
In October 2017, Colette built Tao Hua Yuan Ji, a 14x21 feet pop up book that people could enter, at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. The book is currently under review for the Guinness Book of World Records for the World's Largest Pop-up Book.
Fu's numerous awards include a Fulbright Research Fellowship to China, and grants from the Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, En Foco, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, CFEVA (Center for Emerging Visual Artists,) New York Foundation for the Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Puffin Foundation and Society for Photographic Education. She has attended many fully funded artist residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Macdowell Colony, Sacatar, the Vermont Studio Center, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Visual Studies Workshop, the Institute of Electronic Arts at Alfred University, the Millay Colony and the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity. Her solo show "Wanderer/Wonderer: the Pop-ups of Colette Fu" was presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2016/17. Curator Krystyna Wasserman stated "Although Fu’s books are motionless, their exuberant shapes, intense colors, and closely interwoven pop-up pages give the impression of being alive. Her themes are largely inspired by her personal experiences, but her art also embodies—and inspires—feelings of joy, sorrow, and curiosity experienced by all of humankind...Each of Fu’s pop-up books tells a story. She is a fearless wanderer who shares her wonders and helps us understand the world around us."
A passionate educator, Fu also teaches artmaking as a way to give voice to communities through pop-up paper engineered projects. She teaches pop-up courses and community workshops to marginalized populations at art centers, universities and institutions internationally.