The 28th Hong Kong Book Fair, as a highly regarded annual event, last from July 19-25 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai. This year’s fair welcomes 670 exhibitors from 35 countries and regions present books on a wide range of topics and in various languages, giving members of the public the chance to enjoy their favourite books and take part in various cultural events. A range of on-site seminars and Art Gallery exhibitions also received an enthusiastic response.
By showcase and exhibiting books, printed matter, stationery, printing, compact discs and other multimedia publishing. Hong Kong Book Fair striving to promote local reading culture. Apart from extensively inviting the public to the Fair to visit and buy books, it also spares no effort in organising diversified cultural activities during the Book Fair period with a view to enhance the contents and quality of the Fair.
The 2017 Book Fair showcased across 14 thematic zones, showcasing a diverse selection of reading materials, including the General Books Pavilion, English Avenue, International Cultural Village, Children’s Paradise and e-Books & e-Learning Resource. More than 320 cultural events are being held during the fair period, including seminars, reading sessions, cultural performances and storytelling sessions. Meanwhile, the Art Gallery, staged on the third floor of the HKCEC, presents a number of exhibitions to enrich readers’ cultural knowledge.
This year the Book Fair under the theme “Travel”, with the tag line “Reading the World ･ People, Places, Passions”. Publishers and cultural promotion institutions from around the world as well as organising a series of cultural events to feature the cultures of different countries, which helps vistors learn about the world through reading the works of travel writers.
Althought access to travel information has become easier in recent years, there are still many dedicated writers who prefer to share their travel experience with readers through the written word. Through the writers’ stories, readers can see the world from different perspectives, and build their own values and world views.
In keeping with the travel theme, this year’s Book Fair Art Gallery, to be located outside the 3/F convention hall, showcase a thematic exhibition “Around the World Through Words”. The exhibition feature a number of Hong Kong travel writers with varied backgrounds covering litterateurs, cruise expert, explorer, historians, war correspondent, novelist as well as writer and photographer, of which Leung Ping Kwan (Ye Si), Xi Xi, Rebecca Lee and Zhou Yijun are included. The gallery feature their works together with photos taken and souvenirs gathered during their journeys, to build understanding about their travel works and generate interest in reading.
The Art Gallery also host an exhibition called Beyond the Picture to showcase photographs, paintings and various printed matter telling stories about different places in the world over the ages. It includes a section organised with National Geographic magazine to feature award-winning photographs that capture the culture, landscape and architecture of Hong Kong and other locations around the world. The series also showcase “old Hong Kong” through the paintings of famous local artist Lee Chi-ching as well as photographs, postcards and other printed matter.
Rounding out the Art Gallery was “A Journey to Sichuan”, introducing the Chinese province often referred to as “Nature’s Storehouse”. Visitors was able to take in photographs of the scenery in Sichuan, as well as manuscripts by famous writers from the area, a series of prized exhibits from Sanxingdui Museum, and performances of Sichuan opera face-changing, tea arts and folk music.
International Cultural Village
The International Cultural Village at the Book Fair features 26 countries and regions. France, Germany, Italy and Poland are among the countries setting up the European Union Pavilion to exhibit books as well as organise a number of cultural events to increase public understanding of their local cultures.
To promote English reading, the English Avenue features more than 30 exhibitors presenting a diverse selection of English books. With the support of the British Council, the English Reading and Creative Writing Series features bestselling crime-fiction writer Sophie Hannah, as well as travel writers Sara Wheeler and Tim Moore. Hong Kong-based writer Mark O’Neill talk about the life of Sir Robert Hart, who served as inspector-general of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service during the Qing Dynasty. Local author Perry Lam tell readers how to tap the advantages of bilingualism.
In addition, a number of French and Spanish writers take part in the World of Knowledge Seminar Series. French illustrator Cédric Fernandez share his thoughts on Le Petit Prince, along with illustrators of the classic’s Cantonese version Michelle Chan and Aria Lui, while French-Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou discuss how modern Africa is reflected in his works.
Japan return to the fair with a group pavilion which represents 11 cities and prefectures including Niigata, Wakayama and newcomers Fukuoka and Tottori. The pavilion exhibitors join forces with the Japan National Tourism Organization and the Japan Kadokawa Group to showcase aspects of Japanese culture.
At Hall 3B-E, Children’s Paradise features more than 200 exhibitors showcasing a diverse range of children books and educational materials, suitable for various age groups. At the Children’s Paradise Entertainment Stage, a number of celebrities host storytelling sessions for children, including Hong Kong swimmer Stephanie Au, Film director Adam Wong Sau Ping, and children’s programme hosts Skye Chan and Leung Ka Ki.
In addition, the Children and Youth Reading Seminar Series feature the Sunday Reading session, hosted by writer and TV show host Ong Yi Hing and international relations scholar Simon Shen.
More than 320 cultural events catering to different interests and age groups take place during the week-long event to raise public cultural awareness and interest in reading.
The Book Fair features eight seminar series to invite an international line-up of writers in various genres to share their viewpoints and writing tips. The HKTDC continues to collaborate with Ming Pao and Yazhou Zhoukan to co-organise the Renowned Writers Seminar Series. Speakers in the series include the Chinese mainland writers Ye Xin, Hang Shaogong, Fang Fang, Zhou Meisen, Liu Xiaoqing, Wang Chaoge, Xu Zhiyuan, Lu Nei, Zhou Bing, Xiao Han and Hao Jingfang. Also taking part are writers from Taiwan, including Chu Tien-hsin, Tang Nuo, Liu Ka-shiang and Yang Ze, and from Hong Kong, Leung Man-tao and Craig Au-Yeung Ying Chai.
The Book Fair also encourages the public to read books in other languages to broaden their horizons. The English Reading and Creative Writing Seminar Series, supported by the British Council, feature three renowned UK authors, including crime fiction writer Sophie Hannah and travel writers Sara Wheeler and Tim Moore.
The World of Knowledge Seminar Series, supported by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau, feature three French writers including illustrator Cédric Fernandez, film critic Arnaud Lanuque who studies Hong Kong films and Afro-French novelist Alain Mabanckou. The Consulate General of Spain in Hong Kong is also contributing to the international line-up, by arranging for Peter Gordon and Juan José Morales to introduce their new book on the China-Mexico route Ruta Via de la Plata which dates back to the 16th to 19th centuries.
Well-known Chinese mainland entrepreneur Wang Qiang, who created his own Think in American English programme, also attend the fair to share his reading experience, as renowned local authors, including prominent designer Kan Tai-keung, President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Prof Tony F Chan, as well as the pilot Hank Cheng and engineer Gary Tat who together assembled a light aircraft in Hong Kong and completed a journey around the world.
Other seminar series include the Theme of the Year Seminar Series, where a number of travel writers, academics and travel experts share their views on travelling and writing as well as travel writing styles, the Children and Youth Reading Series, which covers child growth and education, parent-child reading and children literature, and the Personal Development and Spiritual Growth Seminar Series, in which travel expert James Hong, Hong Kong swimmer Stephanie Au and the physiotherapist Elton Ng who conquered Mount Everest share tales of inspiration.
Also on the schedule are the Lifestyle Seminar Series, where local artists Steve Lee and Gigi Wong share cooking tips, as well as sessions by Yim Ho to share healthcare tips, by field photography group Wandering Photography to share the joy of photography, and the Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series, where Dr Ting Sun Pao, Dr Clarence Yau and Louis Koo who is the leading actor of A Step into the Past, television series adapted from popular novel of same name, discuss the works of the late martial arts novelist Huang Yi. Hong Kong artist Rebecca Pan bring the audience to the cinematic stage through her own experience, and the renowned Cantonese Opera actor Franco Yuen talk about Cantonese Opera education in Hong Kong.
Wang Qiang, Founder of the Think in American English Programme, Production Director of Lonely Planet and other industry experts from around the world also participate in the International Publishing Forum to explore developments in this sector during a session targeting publishing industry players.
Besides the seven-day Book Fair, the HKTDC organise “Cultural July” citywide campaign which include more than 320 cultural events to promote reading. Taking place from the end of June until the end of July, involve cultural institutions, libraries, museums, educational institutions, shopping malls and cafés, in a combined effort to encourage greater public participation in diverse cultural events.
Hong Kong Book Fair continued to reduce waste at the Book Fair, with exhibitors and visitors encouraged to use recycling bins. Book collection sites were set up at the fair once again for exhibitors to donate books. These was donated to voluntary service organisations for distribution to individuals or organisations in need. This helped to reduce the quantity of printed materials and make the fair more environmentally friendly.