It’s one of Blackpool’s most striking and talked about features.
Now the resort’s famous Comedy Carpet is set to make waves thousands of miles away – in China.
A major exhibition about the Comedy Carpet has been unveiled at Shanghai’s biggest ever design show, Aesthetics City.
And it comes as a brand new book is set to tell the vivid tale of how the town’s biggest piece of public artwork was created.
The artwork has been included as part of the Design Shanghai 2013 exhibition at Shanghai’s Power Station of Art – known as China’s equivalent of the Tate Modern – which is showcasing work from artists from all over the world.
A large vinyl print of the carpet, along with two videos and some samples of the granite letters, are on display until March 30 as part of the ‘City of Interface’ section curated by Li Degeng.
Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It’s a real coup that a piece of artwork in Blackpool is being showcased on the other side of the world at one of China’s most prestigious art centres.
“Not only does it promote the cultural aspect of the town to thousands of international visitors, but is also a great advertisement for Blackpool in a country which has the potential to attract thousands of tourists here to see the real Comedy Carpet.”
The Comedy Carpet, and the work of its creator, Gordon Young, has already scored international acclaim, scooping the Tokyo Type Directors award in 2012 seeing off competition from more than 350 other international entries.
Mr Young said: “I’ve been amazed at how our communal memory of comedy has been embraced in far flung places such as Tokyo and Shanghai.
“And I’m particularly delighted that the Comedy Carpet is being used as a resource for learning and fun in ways that I never anticipated.”
The exhibition coincides with the launch of a new book about the Comedy Carpet on Friday. The book is on sale for £25 and can be picked up at the Tourist Information Centre and at the Grundy Art Gallery.
It will be launched at a special unveiling at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Friday by Council Leader Simon Blackburn and artist Gordon Young.
The book documents the entire process of creating the 2,200m2 granite artwork, from idea to launch, which contains jokes and catchphrases from over 1,000 comedians.
Beginning at the design and compilation stage, the book documents the creation of the stone slabs and individual letters as well as images from the opening of the carpet by comedian Ken Dodd.
As well as proving a popular tourist attraction for many, it has also been a source of education for school children throughout Blackpool.