Designer and Director Hamid Rahmanian and paper engineer and illustrator Simon Arizpe have collaborated on multiple occasions to create unique and dynamic pop-up books, including on the 2018 publication Zakkah: The Legend of the Serpent King and the upcoming Seven Trials of Rostam. In this workshop, Rahmanian and Arizpe shared the creative inspiration behind these projects, which depict stories from the 1,000-year-old Persian epic poem The Shahnameh, and then gave a hands-on demonstration of pop-up book design and paper engineering
Hamid Rahmanian is a Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist whose work centers on theater, moving image, and graphic arts. He was a 2014 John Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of the 2020 United States Artists Fellowship. His films have screened at Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and IDFA film festivals and broadcast on PBS, Sundance Channel, IFC, Channel 4, BBC, DR2, and Al Jazeera. Mr. Rahmanian illustrated and commissioned a new translation and adaptation of the tenth-century Persian epic poem Shahnamehby Ferdowsi, entitled Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings (2013). In 2018, he released a pop up book, entitled, Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King (Fantagraphics Books), which received the Meggendorfer Prize for the Best Pop Up Book. Rahmanian has created four theater pieces: Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King (2014), Mina’s Dream (2016), Feathers Of Fire(2016), and in 2019, he was commissioned by Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble to create a video animation for their multimedia project, Heroes Take Their Stand. Presently, Rahmanian is working on his new stage production, Song of the North and new pop up book, The Seven Trials of Rostam.
Simon Arizpe (Born Tucson, AZ) is an award winning paper engineer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY. His pop-up book work received the 2018 Meggendorfer Prize, the highest honor in pop-up book design, for his collaboration on Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King, with Hamid Rahmanian. as well as the Society of Illustrators’ Award of Excellence. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, Arizpe has worked in the field of pop-up book design for over 12 years. Some of Arizpe’s clients include: The Washington Post, The Aperture Foundation, the MoMA Design Store, La Mer, Workman Publishing, Fantagraphics Books, & Netflix. The rare book collections of the Cooper Hewitt, the Columbia University Library, and SVA have acquired his work for their permanent collections. In addition to his design work Arizpe teaches paper engineering at the Pratt Institute & Parsons School of Design.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.