Photography and Pop-ups

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, the West Collection and many private and rare archive collections. Fu’s 36x53” pop-up book from her “Haunted Philadelphia” series was recently purchased by the National Museum of Women in the arts and is the largest book in their collection. Fu recently returned from a 6-month artist residency 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.

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, 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, 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.

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. As a 2013 social practice lab resident with Philadelphia’s Asian Arts Initiative, Fu worked with homeless men from the Overcomers long-term program at the Sunday Breakfast Mission. Colette and the Overcomers created a series of pop-up Chinese zodiac greeting cards containing personal stories written by the men and photographs they took of the Chinatown North neighborhood.

Fu’s initial pop-up work was more abstract, with underlying themes of consumerism and the body in a modern world of excess. But since 2008 her personal focus has been on work about the lives of the minorities of China, not far removed from her previous work. Colette’s recent series, entitled We Are Tiger Dragon People represents an interactive 3D glimpse into China's stunning human diversity of 25 officially recognized ethnic minority groups that reside in Yunnan Province. Accompanying text introduces traditions, folklore and other culturally unique examples of their ways of living.

Fu discovered that her own personal anxiety was part lack of respecting and relating to any cultural identity.  As her artwork has evolved, she uses it to promote respect, love, and the beauty of diversity and recently has extended her work to other minority communities. Recognition and celebration of diversity in others and ourselves leads us to stronger identity and involvement with the world.


National Geographic: It's a Photo, It's a Collage, It's a Pop-up!

Fu’s Land of Deities leaps off the page, redefines the pop-up book

Interview with Sinovision TV


NBC News: Ancient Art Revives Connection to a Culture Left Behind

3D民族风情《我们是虎龙人》—— 艺术家傅三三


Global Times: Metro Shanghai, Popping Out

Interview with Shanghai International Television (starts at 6:12)

China Daily: Exploring China's ethnic diversity through pop-ups

Asia Society: Interview: Chinese Minority Cultures 'Pop Up' to Life in Vibrant Artist's Books

China Digital Times: Interview with Bookmaker Colette Fu

AD110: 民族风情《我们是虎龙人》—— 艺术家傅三三 

Wired: A Mind-Blowing Pop-Up Book Shows China’s Vanishing Tribes

The Atlantic: Stunning 'Pop-Up' Photographs That Showcase China's Ethnic Diversity

Fast Company: This Pop-up Book Provides a Unique Life in China

Visual Art News: Beautiful Journalistic Pop-Up Books by Colette Fu: Capturing the Diversity of China’s Southwest Yunnan Province

Liberation: la chine des campagnes en œuvres pop-up

Phaidon: Colette Fu's photo sculpture pop-ups

Morfae: Chinese Pop-up Realism

PSFK: Pop-up Book Brings Personal Photos to Life

Japan Times: 開く楽しさと広がる楽しさ、飛び出る驚き、中国の雲南地方の色鮮やかな少数民族のポップアップ・ブック(飛び出す絵本)!

Artblog: Asian Arts Initiative transforms Pearl Street with a community block party

Interstitial Arts: "Eliminate the Boundaries: and Interview with Artist Colette Fu

Asian Arts Initiative: Social Practice Lab Artist Colette Fu 

Fourth Wall Artist Profile

Colette Fu: Photo Binge, at the University City Arts League   

Informador: Colette Fu despliega sus pop up books   

Elizabeth Avedon: Colette Fu: We are Tiger Dragon People Project            

Alarm Magazine: Colette Fu               

NYTimes Lensblog: Yunnan Province in Three Dimensions     

Go Kunming: Colette Fu: Documenting Yunnan's Minorities                 

A Distinctive Taste: Forth Wall Artist Profile            

Metro Art Unveils New Photo Installation at Downtown LA’s 7th St./Metro Center

Pop-up Lady: Magic and Passion in Portland

Bemis Center: Making it Big, Contemporary Large-Format Photography     


The Allegro Movable Book Collection: Artist, Photography and Paper Engineer Colette Fu

China People's Daily: Books of Art