The 29th Hong Kong Book Fair, as a highly regarded annual event, last from July 18-24 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai. This year’s fair welcomes a record number of 680 exhibitors from 39 countries and regions, 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.
The 2018 Book Fair showcased across 14 thematic zones, including the “General Books Pavilion”, “English Avenue”, “International Cultural Village”, “Children’s Paradise” and “E-books & e-Learning Resource”. These zones display a variety of high-quality reading materials. Each zone features a wide variety of high-quality reading materials.
Meanwhile, precious manuscripts of renowned writers are exhibited at the Art Gallery located at Hall 3 Concourse of the HKCEC. About 310 cultural events catering to different ages and interests are being held during the fair period including seminars, cultural performances and story-telling sessions.
This year the Book Fair under the theme “Romance Literature”, with the tag line “Reading the World ･ What on Earth is Love?”. Distinguished works of romance literature have deeply touched uncountable booklovers through the years. Writers of different times have led readers to explore and appreciate love through reading.
Hong Kong authors have made significant contributions to the development of romance literature, while their writings also reflect social changes through time. We hope that through the theme of the year, readers was able to discover more high-calibre romance writers and literature of different styles.”
Echoing the theme of the year, a dedicated zone named “Love between the Lines” introduces romance writers representing the pre- and post-1990s eras respectively. These include Eileen Chang, Su Xu, Yi Shu, Johnny Yip and Eunice Lam who launched their writing careers before the 1990s, as well as Zita Law, Lam Wing Sum, Sirena Cheng, Tin Hong and Middle, who started during or after the 1990s.
The exhibition area displays a range of the writer’s precious items, including out-of-print novels and manuscripts. Selected film and theatre performance clips of their adapted works are also shown, offering an additional means to appreciate romance literature.
At the Art Gallery, the “Photo Gallery of Silk Road” exhibition is co-organised by the HKTDC and National Geographic to exhibit award-winning photographs that capture the culture and landscape along the Silk Road. With the support of media and organisations from Zhejiang Province, another exhibition, “A Journey to Zhejiang”, features paintings by the province’s renowned painters and cartoonists including Feng Zikai, Huang Binhong and Pan Tianshou. Zhejiang Yue Opera, as well as demonstrations of woodblock printing and bamboo paper production, was performed.
Jointly presented by the HKTDC and the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, another Art Gallery exhibition entitled “A Gem of Chinese Culture – Cantonese Opera” displays a diverse collection of exhibits such as costumes, special magazine issues and promotion leaflets. Cantonese opera performances also be staged to showcase this cultural heritage of Guangdong and Hong Kong.
International Cultural Village
The Book Fair promotes cultural exchanges through the International Culture Village, which features 33 countries and regions, including France, Germany and Italy, together with new participants from Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Ireland. Exhibitors showcase their cultures through books also offer a wide range of events for the public to experience different cultures.
The popular Japan Pavilion returns with the largest number of participants ever. Exhibitors from 17 cities and prefectures including Iwate, Kansai, Shikoku and Okinawa are teaming up with the Japan National Tourism Organisation and KADOKAWA Corporation to showcase local books, cultural products and virtual-reality tours of spots featured in anime and manga.
Located on the third level of the HKCEC, the Children’s Paradise features more than 200 exhibitors showcasing a diverse range of books and educational materials for children of different ages. The “Children and Youth Reading Seminar Series” covers such topics as parent-child reading and children’s education. Distinguished speakers including former Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang and children’s writer Mimi Zhou share tips on how to guide children to develop interest in reading.
A number of prominent romance writers are spotlighted in the “Theme of the Year: Romance Literature” seminar series. Among the speakers, Eileen Chang’s estate executor Roland Soong and literary critic Tom Fung discuss Eileen Chang’s classics; Professor Wong Nim-yan and writer Peter Dunn examine how 1960s Hong Kong shaped the works of Yi Shu and Johnny Yip. At a seminar on the first day, Writer Chip Tsao had a dialogue with media veteran Kam Kwok-leung and columnist April Lam on Eunice Lam’s 1970s viewpoints on the culture of love.
Meanwhile, new-generation romance writers share their thoughts about writing at the fair. Zita Law and spiritual practitioner Jenny Suen explore reality and spirituality in relation to love. Sirena Cheng discuss the relationship between love and writing, making reference to a newly published book co-written by her and Lin Xi (Albert Leung). Tin Hong join Yu Er and Kenneth Wong in sharing experience of writing about love, while Middle offer a new take on “the meaning of missing out”.
The HKTDC collaborates with Ming Pao and Yazhou Zhoukan to co-organise the Renowned Writers Seminar Series, with notable Chinese-language writers from around the globe sharing their literary experience and insight. The series opened with Ye Fu sharing his decade-long writing experience. Renowned Chinese Taiwan writer Lung Yingtai present her new book and share her views on 22 July.
Other renowned speakers participating in the series include Chinese mainland writers Zhang Kangkang, Beidao, Mangke, A Yi, Yu Xiuhua, Duo Yu and Li Xin. Among other speakers are Luo Yijun, Jimmy, Hu Chingfang, Cai Zhiheng and Lee Kan from Taiwan, Leo Lee Oufan, Li Yukying, Ma Kafei and Zhou Jieru from Hong Kong, Li Changsheng from Japan, as well as Dai Xiaohua from Malaysia.Reading the world from Hong Kong.
The World of Knowledge Seminar Series aims to enrich readers’ world knowledge. With support from the Consulate General of Spain, writers Diana Coronado, María José Pareja Lopez and Nashua Gallagher hosted a seminar and guided readers to explore Spanish love poetry and prose today.
Meanwhile, with the support of the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau, acclaimed French writer Chantal Thomas give a talk on the social status and power of women in the 18th century. The European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macau has also invited Latvian writer Janis Jonevs, winner of the European Union Prize for Literature, to share his advice on writing.
Other seminar series being held during the Book Fair include the “Personal Development and Spiritual Growth Seminar Series” where Joseph Sung and Ambrose King, both former Vice-Chancellors of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as comic artist Ma Wing-shing and cross-media creator Erica Li speak. Also on the schedule are the “Lifestyle Seminar Series” and the “Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series” covering a wide range of topics catering to different interests.
Alongside the seven-day Book Fair, the HKTDC partner with cultural institutions, libraries, museums, educational institutions, shopping malls and cafes to organise the “Cultural July” citywide campaign with more than 330 cultural events from the end of June until the end of July to promote reading and encourage 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.