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Hong Kong Book Fair opens soon with about 670 international exhibitors

The exhibition will 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.

HONG KONG – About 670 exhibitors from 35 countries and regions will present books on a wide range of topics and in various languages at the 28th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, which will be held 19-25 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre(HKCEC). More than 310 cultural events catering to different interests and age groups will take place during the week-long event to raise public cultural awareness and interest in reading.

“The Hong Kong Book Fair Cultural Events Advisory Panel chose the theme of Travel for this year’s Book Fair,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau, as he explained how the event would move forward from last year’s focus on Chinese martial arts literature. “We hope that readers can learn about the world through reading the works of Hong Kong travel writers, even though they themselves may not have the opportunity to travel around the globe,” Mr Chau said, adding that the HTKDC will be “bringing in 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, under the theme ‘Reading the World – People, Places, Passions’.”

Travel writing in focus
In keeping with the travel theme, this year’s Book Fair Art Gallery, to be located outside the 3/F convention hall, will showcase a thematic exhibition “Around the World Through Words“. The exhibition will 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 will 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 will 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 will 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 will be “A Journey to Sichuan“, introducing the Chinese province often referred to as “Nature’s Storehouse“. Visitors will be 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.

Renowned writers gather from around the world
This 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 will 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, will 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, will feature three French writers including illustrator Cedric 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 Jose 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, will also attend the fair to share his reading experience, as will 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.

Reading about the world
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. Japan will 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 will join forces with the Japan National Tourism Organization and the Japan Kadokawa Group to showcase aspects of Japanese culture.

Besides the seven-day Book Fair, the HKTDC will organise “Cultural July” citywide campaign which will include more than 310 cultural events to promote reading. Taking place from the end of June until the end of July, it will involve cultural institutions, libraries, museums, educational institutions, shopping malls and cafes, in a combined effort to encourage greater public participation in diverse cultural events.

Concurrent Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo
Tickets to the Book Fair are now available for public purchase, and visitors can also purchase tickets on-site at the fairground ticket office. The Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo will be held concurrently from 21-25 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Sports and Leisure Expo features over 90 exhibitors to showcase sports-related products and equipment, as well as photography and art products and special interest classes. The fair will feature free trials of activities such as indoor rock-climbing and street workout workshops. Visitors can visit the Sports and Leisure Expo with a valid Book Fair ticket.

Photo caption: HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau hopes that under the theme of ‘Travel’, readers can learn about the world through reading the works of travel writers involved with the Book Fair

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