The 30th HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), opened today and runs until next Tuesday (23 July) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai. The theme for this year’s Book Fair is “Sci-Fi and Mystery”, with the tagline “Reading the World, When Fantasy Meets Reality”. In 2019, the fair welcomes a record number of 686 exhibitors from 39 countries and regions, showcased across 15 thematic zones including the General Books Pavilion, International Cultural Village, Children’s Paradise and English Avenue. Each zone features a wide variety of high-quality reading materials while more than 310 cultural events catering to different ages and interests – including seminars, cultural performances and storytelling sessions – are being held during the fair period.
Speaking at the event’s Opening Cocktail Reception, HKTDC Chairman Peter K N Lam said: “The first Hong Kong Book Fair was held in 1990 and it has since become a highly regarded annual event, with the attendance record being broken with each edition. As always, we have invited well-known Asian and international writers to share their inspiration and promote cultural exchange, and we are also showcasing the diverse writing styles of some of Hong Kong’s leading science fiction and mystery writers in line with this year’s theme. The Book Fair, combined with the Cultural July citywide campaign, hosts about 650 varied, informative and entertaining activities this month, and we thank everyone in the community for their continued support and participation.
Exploring fantastic worlds through sci-fi and mystery
Aligning with this year’s Book Fair theme, the Art Gallery at the Hall 3 and Hall 5 concourse features a thematic exhibition titled “A Literary Journey Across Boundless Dimensions”. The exhibition will spotlight Hong Kong’s very own sci-fi and mystery authors, including Lee Man-kin (To Jim), Ni Kuang, Huang Yi, Eddy Lee, Leung For-hing, Albert Tam, Joe Tsui, Chan Ho-kei and Lai Ho. Also on display are precious memorabilia provided by the authors, including out-of-print works, manuscripts, photos, sketches and film excerpts. These include Ni Kuang’s manuscripts and some of his Wisely stories that were published in serial form in newspapers in the 1960s, Huang Yi’s Xingji Langzi manuscript, and a copy of The Strand Magazine from Lai Ho’s collection which features the first Sherlock Holmes short story. The exhibition also screens excerpts from The Legend of Wisely, a 1980s’ adaptation of the Wisely series. With a wide range of exhibits, the exhibition allows readers to approach the authors’ ideas from multiple perspectives.
Theme of the Year: Sci-Fi and Mystery Seminar Series
Aligning with the focus of the 2019 Book Fair, the “Theme of the Year: Sci-Fi and Mystery Seminar Series” features leading local science fiction and mystery authors sharing their insights with participants. Eddy Lee, Jeremy Pak and Pegasus Mak examined “The Early Development of Sci-Fi in Hong Kong” earlier today (17 July), with Lee Man-kin (To Jim), Permanent Honorary Advisor of the Hong Kong Science Fiction Club, as the special guest. Writers Chan Ho-kei, Albert Tam, “Mong-yat” Jeremy Tse, CuronecoC and Faker will join the “Fiction Writers Roundtable – How Could We Become Sci-Fi and Mystery Literature Writers?” to detail their creative journeys, while Leung For-hing will host a seminar on “The Growth and Inheritance of the Secret Agent”. Yeh Lee Hwa from Taiwan will discuss his views on science fiction in the seminar “From Isaac Asimov to Ni Kuang – My Sci-Fi Journey”, and Lai Ho, named as the favourite writer among Hong Kong’s primary school students, will share his views on promoting children’s reading habits. Various sci-fi and mystery writers will also be on hand to talk about their careers and offer writing tips.
Celebrating 30 Years of Literary Delights
This year marks the 30th edition of the Hong Kong Book Fair, and the Art Gallery has set up a zone named “30 Years of Literary Delights” to exhibit treasured photos from the archives, memorabilia from the Art Gallery, and stamps and souvenir covers related to the Book Fair over the years. Highlights include the limited-edition bookmarks created for Hong Kong author Xi Xi’s The Teddy Bear Chronicles and Chronicles of Apes and Monkeys; Joseph Chak Wong’s drawing of Old Master Q to commemorate the Hong Kong Book Fair anniversary; and photographs of Louis Cha, one of the giants of martial arts literature, visiting the Book Fair. The exhibition will take readers down memory lane, exploring the Book Fair’s highlights and changes over three decades.
To commemorate the nearly lost art of ex libris, a bookplate inscribed to show the name of the book’s owner, the HKTDC has collaborated with the Hong Kong Ex-Libris Association to present an exhibition at the Art Gallery titled “In Between Covers – Reminiscences through an Ex Libris”. A fine selection of bookplates and inscription machines used to produce ex libris labels, from Hong Kong and overseas, is showcased along with the Association’s special publications. The Association will also hold lectures to introduce the art of bookplates and teach participants to appreciate, sustain and further develop this disappearing art.
Exquisite artworks showcase Lingnan culture
Another Art Gallery exhibition, “Light and Shadows – The Finest Cantonese Artistry”, is on show outside the Hall 3 concourse. The HKTDC has collaborated with the Administration of Press and Publication of Guangdong province to showcase Lingnan artworks on loan from various collectors, including paintings, Shiwan ceramics, Canton porcelain and calligraphy. Highlights include works from Chao Shao-an, Yang Shanshen, Guan Shanyue and Li Xiongcai. The HKTDC is also working with National Geographic magazine to exhibit a series of photographs of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao taken by renowned photographers, giving a fresh perspective on Lingnan culture.
Renowned Writers Seminar Series
The HKTDC is continuing its collaboration with Ming Pao and Yazhou Zhoukan to co-organise the “Renowned Writers Seminar Series”, featuring influential authors from the Chinese literary world. Taiwanese writer Ping Lu will talk about her works and tips on writing at a seminar tomorrow (18 July). In another seminar, renowned author Ni Kuang will examine his relationship with his most famous creation, Wisely, while famous Mainland Chinese writer Mai Jia will talk about his life experience through his new book, Rensheng Haihai. Other renowned authors taking part in the seminars include Yan Lianke, Liu Zhenyun, Bai Yansong, Han Song, Xu Zhiyuan, Mao Jian, Zhou Yunpeng, Jiang Fangzhou and Lu Qingyi from Mainland China; Janejane Chu, Ma Shihfang and Egoyan Zheng from Taiwan; and Wen Ren Yue Yue from Hong Kong.
English Reading and Creative Writing Seminar Series
Looking further afield, the “English Reading and Creative Writing Seminar Series” at the Book Fair encourages readers to expand their horizons through other languages. Partnering with Book Depository, an international online bookstore, the Book Fair has invited English author Will Dean to talk about how books are more powerful than films. Swedish children’s author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, meanwhile, will share tips on how to get kids to fall asleep. Other visiting authors include young British World Fantasy Awards-nominated author Emma Newman, and bestselling Canadian author Steven Erikson, whose Malazan Book of the Fallen has sold more than one million copies worldwide. There will also be talks from British Betty Trask Award winner Natasha Pulley, supported by the British Council, and Hong Kong-based veteran journalist and author Mark O’Neill, who will discuss his new book on ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.
The “World of Knowledge Seminar Series” also brings acclaimed overseas writers to the fair. Authors from around the world will cover topics including art, film aesthetics and ageing populations. KADOKAWA CORPORATION has invited noted Japanese writer and winner of the 2009 Japan Booksellers’ Award Kanae Minato; the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau has invited science fiction author Bernard Werber; and the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao has lined up Finland’s Selja Ahava. In addition, seminars will be held by Chen Yi-min, Senior Editor at Ming Pao Weekly; Maurice Lee, Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council; Timmy Yip, the first Chinese artist to win an Academy Award for Best Art Direction; Chinese film critic Ka Ming; Professor Shi Er, author of an acclaimed work of Chinese philosophical literature; Prof Zhang Long-xi, a scholar who specialises in East-West comparative studies; and Prof Joseph Lau, one of the founders of Modern Literature magazine.
Diverse offerings at the International Cultural Village
The Book Fair presents quality publications from around the world across various thematic zones, including the International Culture Village, which features 33 countries and regions, including France, Germany and Italy, as well as the returning European Union Pavilion. Exhibitors will also offer a wide range of events to help the public get a better understanding of different cultures.
A perennial favourite at the fair, the Japan Pavilion returns this year on the fifth floor. Exhibitors from 14 cities and prefectures, including new exhibitors such as Nagano, Kyoto and Toyama, are teaming up with the Japan National Tourism Organisation and KADOKAWA CORPORATION to showcase local books and cultural products and offer virtual-reality tours of some of the attractions featured in anime and manga publications.
A world of fun at Children’s Paradise
The Book Fair provides one of the best opportunities for parents to spend time reading together with their children. Located on the third level of the HKCEC, the Children’s Paradise zone features more than 220 exhibitors showcasing a diverse range of books and educational materials for children of all ages. The “Children and Youth Reading Seminar Series” covers such topics as parent-child reading, learning, and children’s education. Speakers include writer Fong She-mei, comic artist Ma Sing-yuen, and children’s book author Leon Image. Other distinguished speakers sharing educational stories on stage at the Children’s Paradise zone are disc jockey and TV host Josephine Ng, speed climber and bodybuilding world champion Lisa Cheng, singer-songwriter and actor Jonathan Wong, and local illustrator b.wing.
Other seminar series include the “Children and Youth Reading Series”, “Personal Development and Spiritual Growth Seminar Series”, “Lifestyle Seminar Series”, and “Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series”. The seminars will cover a wide range of topics that cater to all ages, interests and needs.
For more details and registration for the seminars, please refer to the Hong Kong Book Fair website (www.hkbookfair.com) or mobile app. Visitors who are not pre-registered for a seminar may still try to gain admission by arriving early. Through the Hong Kong Book Fair mobile app, visitors can download exhibitors’ discount coupons and browse new book releases, as well as locate exhibitors and events to plan ahead. “Green Tips” are listed on the Book Fair website and mobile app, encouraging visitors to support the event’s green initiatives and help protect the environment.
One ticket, two fairs
Tickets to the Book Fair can be purchased throughout the fair period at the onsite ticket office. The tickets are also valid for same-day admission to the concurrent HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo, which will be held on the fifth floor of the HKCEC. Now in its third edition, the expo features more than 150 exhibitors representing over 160 brands of sports and leisure products and services.
Free trials for a range of sports activities are offered during the expo, including a 3.5-metre indoor climbing wall, ice hockey and ice skating, freestyle football workshops, a pull-up contest, and the Hong Kong Schools Magic Competition. Leisure activities will include photography workshops and board games. Multiple celebrity sharing sessions will also be held, featuring a star-studded roster of speakers who include Hong Kong footballer Edmond Yapp; Hong Kong figure skater Maisy Ma; Wong Ho-chung, Grand Slam Champion in the “4 Deserts Race Series”; JoeJoe Fan, former HK Sports Institute elite marathon runner; and Yolanda Ng, Chairperson of the Cultural and Leisure Services Committee of the Wan Chai District Council. In addition, the expo showcases the award-winning STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) works of students from local schools along together with an awards-presentation ceremony.
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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub, organising international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly SMEs, in the mainland and international markets. Please visit www.hktdc.com/aboutus and follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.
Clayton Lauw, Tel: +852 2584 4287, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunny Ng, Tel: +852 2584 4357, Email: email@example.com