An annual cultural highlight, the Hong Kong Book Fair will run from 20-26 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In its 27th edition, the fair is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) with more than 600 exhibitors from some 30 countries and regions expected to take part, including newcomers from Chile, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Portugal and Russia. More than 380 cultural activities are arranged during the week-long event including seminars, readings, new book parades, storytelling sessions and performances with the aim of cultivating the public’s cultural awareness and interest in reading.
Theme of the Year – Chinese Martial Arts Literature
This year, the Hong Kong Book Fair adopts the theme of Chinese Martial Arts Literature. “Hong Kong has produced many renowned martial arts novelists over the years who have created timeless classics,” said HKTDC Acting Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “Many of these works have been translated into different languages and adapted into movies, TV series, computer games and comics that are popular not only in the Greater China region but also around the world. The martial arts world portrayed in these novels embodies the essence of Chinese culture and is an important conduit for sharing and promoting Chinese culture.”
A Chinese Martial Arts Literature exhibition will be set up at the Art Gallery, introducing readers to eight esteemed Hong Kong martial arts novelists from different eras. These include Liang Yu Sheng, Jin Yong (Louis Cha), Gu Long, Ni Kuang, Woon Swee Oan, Huang Yi, Jozev Lau and Zheng Feng. The zone will also display other precious exhibits, such as early serialised comic clippings, first editions, adapted screenplays and comic books.
The HKTDC will also partner with the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to organise a Jin Yong exhibition, spotlighting his achievements as one of the most influential Chinese martial arts novelists. Meanwhile, renowned martial arts novelists Woon Swee Oan, Jozev Lau and Zheng Feng will be on hand to meet readers.
A gathering of authors from around the world
The Book Fair will also feature well-known overseas authors and works in different languages. Respected entrepreneur and arts enthusiast Sir David Tang has invited three leading writers to take part in the Open Public Forum (22 July). They include writer, philanthropist and documentary director Hannah Rothschild, author and journalist Simon Winchester and best-selling historical fiction author Wilbur Smith. The British Council, meanwhile, is bringing award-winning Hong Kong-born British poet Sarah Howe to take part in the Book Fair for the first time. The Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau has arranged for children’s and young adult book author Elisabeth Brami, journalist and author Florence de Changy and Christine Cappio, a French national living in Hong Kong, to introduce their works. With the support from the Consuls General of Mexico, Peru and the Argentine Republic, Rodrigo Cacho, an expert in Renaissance and Baroque cultures, will join the fair to speak about Spanish-American colonial literature.
In addition to the French and Mexican writers, the World of Knowledge Seminar Series will also feature a number of local celebrities such as artisan jeweller Wallace Chan, renowned author and host Chua Lam, designer and artist Kan Tai Keung and Cantonese opera master Franco Yuen.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of several master playwrights, including Tang Xian Zu, a Chinese playwright from the Ming Dynasty; peerless English playwright and poet William Shakespeare; and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the creator of Don Quixote. A number of related talks will be held to commemorate these great playwrights.
Other seminar series at the Book Fair include: the Lifestyle Seminar Series, featuring healthy living expert Yim Ho, travel writer James Hong, media personality Cheuk Wan-chi and Hong Kong’s Wandering Photography, which is a group that focusses on nature photography; the Personal Development and Spiritual Growth Seminar Series, with commentator Lee Yee, Vice-Chancellor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong Professor Joseph Sung and author Black; and the Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series, where creator Keith Ho, lyricist Jolland Chan, well-known talent agent Joe Chan, internationally renowned chef Martin Yan and Hong Kong Baptist University history professor Ricardo Mak will talk about the transformation of Hong Kong society.
A Journey to “Silk Road”: Shaanxi and India
Among the exhibitions at the Art Gallery will be A Journey to “Silk Road”: Shaanxi and India. Visitors will be able to appreciate precious artefacts from the Chinese province of Shaanxi and India, which is regarded as one of the four great ancient civilisations. Western Zhou Dynasty bronze works, Qin brick, Han tile, Tang sancai and Silk Road coins from Xian; and, from India, paintings, ethnic clothing, agar wood, tea and decorations will be displayed. The HKTDC will also arrange traditional Shaanxi and Indian performances to broaden the cultural horizons of visitors.
Insights from renowned authors
This year’s Book Fair continues to bring together renowned authors from the mainland and overseas to share their insights in storytelling. The HKTDC will collaborate with Ming Pao and Yazhou Zhoukan to co-organise the Renowned Writers Seminar Series. Heavyweight speakers will include Ye Yong Lie (journalism and biography), Cao Wen Xuan (children’s literature and 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award winner), Lung Ying Tai and Jan Hung Tze (renowned Taiwanese authors), Professor Way Kuo (President of the City University of Hong Kong), Ma Ka Fai, Jin Ren Shun (Chunshen Original Literary Award winning author) and Jiang Sheng Nan (creator of the Chinese mainland hit TV series The Legend of Mi Yue).
Cultivating children’s love of reading
For children and parents, the Children and Youth Reading Series will feature award-winning Taiwanese illustrator Huang Chih Ming and Hong Kong’s Joyce Choi to spotlight the joy of children’s picture books. Occupational therapist Silvia Mak, mother of Miss Hong Kong Louisa Mak, and Agnes Chan will speak about parenting while seasoned media personality Lawrence Cheng, artist Louisa So and Principal Derek Yeung will share selected stories with children.
The fair will be divided into various product zones, with Children’s Paradise returning to showcase reading material for children of all ages. There will also be a new Talent Hub zone, where parents and children can browse information of extracurricular activities. At the International Cultural Village, foreign consulates and associations from 23 countries and regions will showcase cultural highlights to stimulate interest among children and adults alike. English Avenue returns to the fair with more than 30 exhibitors.
Once again this year, the HKTDC is collaborating with other cultural institutions, schools, government departments and companies to co-organise Cultural July. The citywide festival aims to arouse the public’s interest and participation in cultural activities, which include more than 250 events, from sharing sessions, storytelling, theatre workshops, cultural tours and photography exhibitions. For details, please visit the Cultural July website.
Tickets on sale today
Tickets to the Book Fair are now available at Hong Kong Ticketing and designated 7-11 and Circle K convenience stores. Electronic ticketing is introduced to the Book Fair for the first time this year. The public can purchase tickets via the “TNG e-Wallet” App. There will also be Morning Admission Tickets and a Special Re-entry Promotion (details below). The seminars are also open for online registration starting today.
27th Hong Kong Book Fair
Date: 20-26 July 2016 (Wednesday to Tuesday)
– 20, 21, 24, 25 July; 10am-10pm
– 22, 23 July; 10am-midnight (Hall 3 open till 11pm)
– 26 July; 9am-5pm
Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
– Adult Ticket: HK$25
– Child Ticket: HK$10 (for primary school students / children under 1.22m tall)
* Children under 3 and elderly over 65 will be admitted free of charge
– Morning Admission Ticket (entry before noon): HK$10 (available for sale at the fairground only each day)
– Special Re-entry Promotion: 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 offer is not applicable to other admission tickets including morning admission ticket, concessionary ticket, VIP ticket and complimentary ticket.
Book Fair Website http://www.hkbookfair.com (For activity details and registration to seminars)