The 27th Hong Kong Book Fair opened today and continues through 26 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), this year’s event welcomes a record 640 exhibitors from 35 countries and regions. In addition to the diverse selection of reading materials on offer, more than 360 on-site cultural activities are arranged during the week-long fair to deepen visitors’ understanding and appreciation of different cultures.
“The theme this year is ‘Reading the World – Heroism and Romance of the Chinese Martial World’,” said HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong. “Apart from echoing the Theme of the Year, we also hope to cultivate a love for reading, so that people enjoy a more colourful life in a more beautiful world.”
Chinese martial arts literature
This year’s Book Fair adopts Chinese Martial Arts Literature as its overarching theme, highlighting Hong Kong’s influence on the genre since the 1950s and 60s. Over the years, short stories, novels, comics, TV series and even computer games with a Chinese martial arts theme have become popular with different generations around the world.
The Chinese Martial Arts Literature exhibition located in the Art Gallery introduces readers to eight esteemed Hong Kong Chinese martial arts novelists from different eras. They include Liang Yu Sheng, Jin Yong (Louis Cha), Gu Long, Ni Kuang, Woon Swee Oan, Huang Yi, Jozev Lau and Zheng Feng. The zone also displays valuable historical artefacts such as manuscripts, first editions and adapted comics and films while the Literary Giant – Jin Yong and Louis Cha exhibition showcases the work of one of the most influential modern Chinese martial arts novelists of all time. Jointly organised by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, visitors can view Jin Yong’s manuscripts, novels, handwritten couplets and related works.
A series of Book Fair seminars feature renowned martial arts literature novelists such as Woon Swee Oan, Jozev Lau and Zheng Feng. Other expert speakers include Professor Yumi Okazaki of Waseda University in Japan; Sham Sai-shing, Chief Editor of martial arts magazine Wuxia Shijie; and Dr Albert Yeung, Honorary Chairman of the Hong Kong Novelist Association. They will discuss Chinese martial arts literature from different perspectives.
A global gathering of authors
The Open Public Forum on 22 July (Friday) is a highlight for fans of English language literature. Moderated by Sir David Tang, this year’s forum invites philanthropist, writer and documentary director Hannah Rothschild, author and journalist Simon Winchester and best-selling historical fiction novelist Wilbur Smith to share their experiences.
Recipient of the prestigious TS Elliot prize, Hong Kong-born British poet Sarah Howe is taking part in the Book Fair for the first time to discuss her work. She is joined by three French authors – children’s and young adult book author Elisabeth Brami, journalist and writer Florence de Changy and Hong Kong-based Christine Cappio – who will also share their insights with fair visitors.
Other activities include the World of Knowledge Seminar Series, Children and Youth Reading Series, Lifestyle Seminar Series, Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series and Personal Development and Spiritual Growth Seminar Series.
A gathering of Chinese literary giants
The Renowned Writers Seminar Series, jointly organised by the HKTDC, Ming Pao and Yazhou Zhoukan, continues to bring heavyweight Chinese authors to the Book Fair. Spearheading the series this year is biographer and journalist Ye Yong Lie, who will speak about the Cultural Revolution. Joining him in separate seminars are novelists Qiu Huadong and Cheng Ying Shu. 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award winner Cao Wen Xuan, author Li Yinhe and Jan Hungtze, Ma Ka Fai and creator of the Chinese mainland hit TV series “The Legend of Mi Yue” Jiang Sheng Nan are also taking part in the fair while essayist and cultural critic from Taiwan Professor Lung Ying Tai is launching her latest book.
A cultural journey of discovery
Book Fair participants can appreciate an array of cultural relics on display and enjoy various cultural performances. At the Art Gallery, the exhibition ‘A Journey to “Silk Road”: Shaanxi and India’ presents precious artefacts from the Chinese province of Shaanxi as well as India. Bronze works dating back to the Western Zhou dynasty, bricks from the Qin dynasty, tiles from the Han dynasty, Tang Sancai and Silk Road coins from Xi’an are among the exhibits. Also on display are paintings, ethnic costumes, agarwood, tea and traditional decorations from India. Performances by groups from Shaanxi and India provide unique insights into the respective cultures.
Browse the Book Fair, see the world
Foreign consulates and associations from 25 countries and regions are showcasing cultural highlights at the International Cultural Village to stimulate the interest of children and adults alike. Participating consulates include those from Belgium, Germany, Israel, Peru, South Africa and the United States. The Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau is also offering elementary French lessons and an introduction to French comics while columnist, blogger and food photographer Poyee Lee is sharing her experience of the French lifestyle.
The Kadokawa Group, one of Japan’s four largest publishers, as well as exhibitors from nine Japanese prefectures and cities – including Niigata, Wakayama, Hiroshima and Abashiri – are presenting works that represent the different cultures across Japan. First-time exhibitor Japan National Tourism Organisation is also highlighting the popular Japanese tradition of collecting stamps from temples and shrines while traveling. During the fair, visitors to the Japanese Pavilion can win a prize for completing a stamp collection card.
Special ticket promotions
Tickets to the Book Fair are available at Hong Kong Ticketing and designated convenience stores. Electronic tickets are available via the “TNG e-Wallet” App. Morning Admission Tickets (HK$10) can be purchased on-site before noon. Visitors who purchase a regular adult ticket (HK$25) or child ticket (HK$10) dated 20 or 21 July can enjoy free admission on 22, 23 or 24 July (Fri, Sat, Sun) after 7pm by presenting the whole stub attached to the admission ticket.
The Book Fair will remain open late on 22 and 23 July (Friday & Saturday), with the 1/F exhibition hall open until midnight and the 3/F exhibition hall open until 11pm. To facilitate visitors, New World First Bus and Kowloon Motor Bus will provide a special bus service from 10pm until 1am on Friday and Saturday. Buses will depart from outside the HKCEC’s Expo Drive for Mei Foo (105R) and Kwun Tong (111R). Ferry services will also increase in frequency starting at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, running every eight to 12 minutes, with the last ferry leaving at 11:30pm.