Friday, 8 February 2008

Popping up again

As a postscript to my recent Musing on pop-up books, here's a page from a Japanese site with dozens of pics and video clips of contemporary pop-ups in action.

And thanks to Cathy over on Teacher Features for the link to the website of Paul Johnson.

I especially love the works on his 'commissions' page .

Everyone's no doubt familiar with this Lexus 'pop-up book' car ad:

What I hadn’t realised is that the whole ad was created by engineers in a studio and employed no digital effects at all – which makes it a far more amazing production than it appeared at first glance. (We are so used to computer-generated special effects now that we assume they are all-pervasive and that we know better than to believe our own eyes pretty much the whole time.) You can watch some behind-the-scenes footage here

And I belatedly remembered that I’d seen this inspired pop-up book from Japan last year, on Alex’s excellent Shedworking site - the ultimate 'coffee table book'.

Finally, I'm grateful to Cathy again for introducing me to the exciting paper-cutting work of Danish artist Peter Callesen, which was all completely new to me. Though not strictly 'pop-ups', his thought-provoking cut paper creations are well worth a mention in this context because of their extraordinary ability to tell complex stories in a deceptively simple way. Have a look at his works on water, too.


Alex Johnson said...

Also have a look at writer Sarah Salway's brief posting on popups.
Thanks for the kind mention - that post on that popup book/lamp was the most popular post on the Shedworking site in 2007.

Juliet said...

Thanks for the link to Sarah's pop-up post, Alex. The lamp book is certainly intriguing - but how strange that it was your most popular post, given that its connection to sheds (or indeed working) is so tenuous. I'm really surprised to hear that, given the huge number of fabulous sheddy items on your blog. Still, all grist to the hit-counter I guess!

Alex Johnson said...

Yes, bizarre. But it was picked up by lots of other sites and 'went viral' so it just kind of mushroomed. You'll be pleased to hear that the other top 10 posts were all very much shed-related.

Juliet said...

Well it certainly proves that one can't always predict what will 'go viral' and take off globally, which I suppose is very encouraging - we're not all such hapless victims of cynical manipulation as we thought! At least knowing that 90% of the top 10 were shed-related hits must make it all seem worthwhile. Keep up the good work, Alex - Shedworking is the most fantastically inspiring and fascinating site.

Cathy said...

Glad you liked the work of Paul Johnson and Peter Callesen, Juliet. I just discovered the work of another paper folder, Robert J. Lang. He's a physicist by profession but also an exhibited origami artist, with eight books to his credit. His web site is

Juliet said...

Thanks Cathy - sounds intriguing - I'll go and have a look. You certainly come up with some inspiring ideas on your site!