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Creating Accordion Books in East Asian History and Now

In this workshop we looked at examples of accordion books—which are made by folding long sheets of with a cover attached — in a quick tour of their uses in East Asian history. Known as orihon in Japan, accordion books became a popular form for paintings and woodblock prints, for combining text with images, and for journals.

Innovations by creators of Japanese folding screen paintings and recent artists globally provide inspiration to think through 3D space, and between part to whole/front to back. We explored some of the 20th century and contemporary creative applications of the format. Its simplicity allows for endless variations!

Participants followed along and learned how to fold a book and attach a cover, and how to add design elements as time allows. Along the way, they shared thoughts on their use with students. We shared in advance a list of materials with paper dimensions that participants needed to bring to the workshop.

This seminar was sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center (EARC) in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington with funding from a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).

Date and Time

Wednesday, May 19, 2021; 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (Pacific Time).

This online program was held on Zoom. Participants received a link the day before the program.

Program Leader

This workshop was led by Sarah Loudon.

Sarah Loudon worked at the Seattle Art Museum for many years, developing programs and interpretive resources for Asian art, and developing partnerships for SAM’s Asian Art Museum location. She studied art history and ethnomusicology, and received her M.A. in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington. She has a great enthusiasm for artists’ books and book arts.

Program Benefits

  • 2 Free WA OSPI Clock hours
  • Online resources