An exhibition of rare pop-up books will open in Taipei tomorrow with the aim of showing visitors that such books are also works of art, organizers said yesterday.
The exhibition will showcase 160 rare pop-up books ranging from the longest pop-up book in the world — an 8.2m long volume detailing the history of the Czech Republic — to a 4cm wide miniature version of Anne of Green Gables.
Other items that will be on display include books that open to a 1.4m long Titanic, a 1.5m tall space shuttle and a Taiwanese handpuppet theater.
The exhibition will also feature a set of books by the US fashion quarterly Visionaire, which has produced pop-ups by contemporary artists such as China’s Cai Guoqiang (蔡國強), who is known for his gunpowder drawings and explosive works.
“Our biggest goal is to send the message that pop-ups are not just ordinary books or children’s books, but interactive visual art,” said Michael Yang (楊清貴), curator of the event and a private collector who supplied the exhibits.
“Every pop-up book is assembled by hand, which means that each one is a unique piece of art,” Yang said.
The interactive nature of pop-up books also makes it easy for readers to absorb the knowledge and information contained therein, he added.
Chang Yui-tan (張譽騰), director of the National Museum of History, where the exhibition will be held, agreed that pop-ups are unique and more than just books.
The museum hopes to show how pop-up books have evolved over the past 700 years, from a resource that explained astronomy, anatomy and mechanics to spinoffs of popular movies such as Titanic, Star Wars and Harry Potter, he said.
Matthew Reinhart, a US pop-up book artist who has created many award-winning books such as Star Wars: A Pop-up Guide to the Galaxy, and Hong Kong pop-up artist Liu Sijie will also attend the exhibition to discuss the creative processes with visitors.
A total of 1,000 elementary-school children will be invited to attend the exhibition for free and workshops will be held to show teachers how to use pop-up books as a learning resource.
The exhibition will run until Sept. 16.