The 2016 edition of the Hong Kong Book Fair, running July 20-26, will welcome over 600 exhibitors, including newcomers from Chile, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Portugal and Russia. Inaugurated in 1990, this year marks the first time the fair has introduced a theme.
Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong Book Fair will celebrate "Heroism and Romance of the Chinese Martial World" over the course of the festival. Asked about the reason behind the theme, HKTDC Acting Executive Director Benjamin Chau explained that martial arts literature "embodies the essence of Chinese culture and is an important conduit for sharing and promoting Chinese culture."
Martial Arts writers honored
The fair will host an exhibition dedicated to the genre featuring work by eight world-famous authors from a variety of eras. The authors featured include: Liang Yusheng, known as a pioneer of the "wuxia" (martial arts and chivalry) genre in the 20th century; Jin Yong, China's best-selling living author ("The Condor Trilogy", "The Deer and the Cauldron"); poet and novelist Woon Swee Oan ("The Four Great Constables"); and Huang Yi, science fiction/wuxia novelist whose novels have been adapted into TV series such as "A Step Into The Past" (2001), "Twin of Brothers (2004) and "Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion". The exhibition will also display early serialized clippings, first editions, screenplays and comic books dedicated to the martial art writing.
The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is also partnering with the fair's organizers to hold an exhibition entirely dedicated to Jin Yong in honor of his contribution to Chinese literature.
Renowned Writers Seminar Series and Public Forum
The book fair will also feature insights from world-recognized authors as part of a seminar series in collaboration with Chinese newspapers Ming Pao and Yazhou Zhoukan. Speakers include the science fiction writer and biographer Ye Yonglie (translated in "The Road to Science Fiction" series), award-winning writer Cao Wenxuan ("Bronze and Sunflower", "The Straw House") and Professor Way Kuo, President of the City University of Hong Kong.
This year, the Open Public Forum on July 22 will include international writers such as best-selling historical fiction author Wilbur Smith and the author and journalist Simon Winchester, invited by the entrepreneur and arts enthusiast Sir David Tang.
Cultural July, Hong Kong
As a complement to the Book Fair, HKTDC is helping organize over 250 separate events around Hong Kong as part of "Cultural July". Cultural institutions, schools, government departments and businesses will all be participating throughout the month by facilitating performances, exhibitions and shows around the city.