The 31st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), begins today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and closes on 20 July. Running in tandem with the Book Fair are the HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo and debut HKTDC World of Snacks. Together they are welcoming more than 760 exhibitors to deliver a brand-new experience to visitors, with an array of books, leisure activities and tasty treats. Officiating at this morning's opening ceremony for the long-awaited event were Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, together with Dr Peter K N Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC, and Margaret Fong, Executive Director of the HKTDC.
This year's fair has the theme "Inspirational and Motivational Reading" with the tagline "Reading the World - Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul". Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: "After being rescheduled twice amid the volatility of the pandemic, we are delighted that the Hong Kong Book Fair can finally begin today. The HKTDC, publishers and the general public are unanimous in their desire for large-scale physical exhibitions such as this to return. The Book Fair presents a wide array of cultural activities, including the Eight Seminar Series and thematic exhibitions at the Art Gallery, that Hong Kong's booklovers have been yearning for. Along with the Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo and the new World of Snacks, visitors can enjoy a wide range of literary events, sports and leisure products and activities, and indulge in popular snacks from across the globe."
Thematic exhibitions aim at nourishing minds
Aligning with this year's Book Fair theme, the HKTDC is showcasing a thematic exhibition, titled "Words to Warm the Heart", at the Art Gallery. The exhibition introduces a number of inspirational authors and some of their selected works, including (in no particular order) A Nong, Cheng Kok-kong, Lee Chack-fan, Philemon Choi, Wu Yin-ching, Shirley Loo, Agnes Chan, Joseph Sung, Su Hei and Rap Chan. Precious memorabilia from the authors are on display, including manuscripts, artworks and souvenirs, giving readers a deeper appreciation of the writers' creative journeys from different perspectives and encouraging them to seek out books that can motivate and inspire.
The Theme of the Year: "Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul" Seminar Series features leading inspirational authors to share their insights on creative writing with visitors. Lee Chack-fan examined "Seize the Day for Peace of Mind - Growth of Mankind amid Pandemic and Disaster" earlier today (14 July), sharing his thoughts on how to live a more valuable life. Agnes Chan will share on effective parenting methods in the seminar "Nurture Outstanding Children with Honesty, Courage and Kindness" tomorrow (15 July), while Joseph Sung will discuss his outlook on life by comparing it to football in the seminar "Football Life" via video conferencing (17 July).
Children's Paradise, the classic Hong Kong children's magazine, summed up the essence of childhood. It was first published in the 1950s and went on to become the city's longest-lasting kids' publication, growing together with generations of local children. The Cherished Memories of the Children's Paradise exhibition displays various items, such as illustrations, authentic works by Lo Koon-chiu (former Chief Editor of the magazine) and the very first issue of the publication. Cheung Chun-wah, former director of Children's Paradise, will talk about his relationship with the magazine at a seminar titled "Sentiments in Writing".
Another exhibition, "The Dragon Never Dies - Bruce Lee @80", organised with the support of the Bruce Lee Club, brings together Bruce Lee memorabilia from collectors, such as portraits, movie tickets, precious photographs and stamps, to pay tribute to the kung fu star. Wong Yiu-keung, Chairman of the Bruce Lee Club, movie director Alex Cheung and collector Ng Kwai-lung will speak at the seminar "Their Bruce Lee Stories" (17 July), giving participants the chance to revisit some of the legendary kung fu star's most iconic moments.
Eight Seminar Series promotes broad range of literature
The Eight Seminar Series returns to the Book Fair in 2021, continuing to promote the joy of reading by exposing readers to authors and works from a diverse range of literary genres. In addition to the "Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul" Seminar Series mentioned above, the Renowned Writers Seminar Series, co-organised with Mingpao and Yazhou Zhoukan, features a selection of acclaimed writers who will speak at seminars in person or via video.
The speakers in this seminar series include Fan Jinshi, known as the "Daugter of Dunhuang"; Gu Chunfang, professor at the Peking University School of Arts and co-author of "Dunhuang is Where My Heart Belongs: Biography of Fan Jinshi"; Liang Hong, professor at the School of Liberal Arts, Renmin University of China; Shuang Xuetao, the first Mainland Chinese author awarded the Taipei Literature Award; Wei Hui, a contemporary author from Mainland China; acclaimed novelist Ping Lu from Taiwan; Cheng Pei-kai, founder of the Chinese Civilisation Centre at the City University of Hong Kong; Louis Ng, Museum Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum; Xu Zidong, author of Reading Eileen Chang; Ronald Soong, Eileen Chang's estate executor; and Zhou Jieru, Chief Editor of Hong Kong Literary. The seminars will enable authors to communicate with booklovers in a more direct and meaningful way.
With the support of Book Depository, an international online bookstore, the English and International Reading Series invites renowned authors from around the globe to share their creative experiences. The line-up features Heather Morris, the New Zealand author who has sold more than 7 million copies of her novels worldwide; renowned British broadcaster and writer Jeremy Vine; New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels Brigid Kemmerer; fantasy and graphic novel maestro Neil Gaiman; sinologist and Professor of Modern Chinese History and Literature at the University of London Julia Lovell; Co-director of Proverse Hong Kong, a local independent publisher, Gillian Bickley; editor of the Asian Review of Books Peter Gordon; former president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Juan Jose Morales; and experienced Mainland China-focused journalist and writer Mark O'Neill. Members of the public can broaden their horizons by immersing themselves in the diverse range of topics covered in these seminars.
Other seminar series at the Book Fair include World of Knowledge, Children and Youth Reading, Spiritual Growth and Personal Development, Lifestyle and the Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series, catering to the diverse tastes of readers from all age groups. Visit https://hkbookfair.hktdc.com/en/Events/Event-Schedule.html for full details of the Eight Seminar Series.
Thematic zones cater to booklovers' needs
As a cultural exchange platform, the Hong Kong Book Fair helps take booklovers on a global literary journey. The fair features numerous thematic zones, including Mainland China Publishers, General Books Pavilion, University Press Square, Spirituality Zone, Children's Paradise, e-Books & e-Learning Resources and more, all of which offer quality publications from around the world that allow visitors to gain more exposure to the works of different genres from different regions. This year, two newly added zones, Back to School and Virtual Classroom, present various educational materials and instruction methods that add fun to the learning process.
Emerging sports featured at Sports and Leisure Expo
This year's Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo delivers a full programme that offers numerous sporting and leisure experiences. In addition to existing thematic zones such as Sports Hub, Fun & Play, Outdoor Adventure and Handicraft Market, the expo features two new zones, namely Refresh & Relax and Travel. Excursion, which showcase exciting outdoors activities such as diving, rock climbing and stand-up paddleboarding. A range of free trials will be offered at the expo, including dodgebee and pickleball. There will also be demonstration sessions include dragon dancing, Brazilian jiu jitsu and capoeira, freestyle football and speed stacking. Visitors who prefer more sedentary pursuits can participate in activities such as photography workshops and table-top games. In addition, rugby sevens players Salom Yiu and Sham Wai-sum, freestyle football player Tony Ma and other Hong Kong sports stars will take part in a series of celebrity-sharing sessions and performances.
The Japan Pavilion returns this year on the fifth floor. Exhibitors from nine cities and prefectures, including Hyogo, Okinawa, Kagoshima, Shikoku and new exhibitors Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Kagawa and Oita, are teaming up with Kadokawa Hong Kong Limited from the KADOKAWA CORPORATION to showcase Japanese culture and entertainment hotspots.
Debut World of Snacks presents global selection of treats
In Hall 5, the new World of Snacks features six thematic zones - Travel Delights, Chocolate and Sweet Factory, Oldie Snacks, Yummy & Healthy, Party Time and Snack Bar - bringing together more than 1,000 popular treats from across the globe. International snacks on offer include Taiwanese pineapple cakes, Finnish organic bulletproof coffee, Bien Jamon Iberico ham, quality Cheesepop from Holland and more. Meanwhile, Oldie Snacks offers vegan fruit gummies, crispy peanuts with fresh shrimp roe in black truffle flavour, hand-crafted nougat and a host of other options. Exciting activities are open to all visitors including the lollipop bouquet, handmade rock candies and taro pastry workshops.
Two citywide campaigns - Cultural July and Cultural Journey Online
In addition to hosting the one-week Book Fair, the HKTDC is also collaborating with numerous cultural and educational institutions, libraries, museums, shopping malls and cafes to organise a broad range of cultural events running from late June to end of July as part of the Cultural July - Joyful Summer Reading citywide campaign. What's more, the Cultural Journey Online webpage is now available on the Book Fair website, showcasing different e-reading resources, museum exhibitions and seminars offered by partners. Users can broaden their horizons and gain new knowledge at any time, whether its online or offline.
Incentive campaign and enhanced on-site hygiene measures
The HKTDC has engaged a number of exhibitors to offer various incentives to visitors who have been vaccinated, including discounts, giveaways and cash vouchers. Additionally, the HKTDC is offering 35,000 free admissions to people who have been vaccinated (having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
). Free admission is being offered in limited quotas before 12 noon on every day of the fair to encourage the public to visit at non-peak hours. Members of the public can present their COVID-19 vaccination records (including an electronic vaccination record saved in the iAM Smart, eHealth or LeaveHomeSafe apps or a paper vaccination record) at the designated lanes. Free admission is given on a first-come-first-served basis while quotas last. There will be 10,000 free admissions available each day for the first two days of the fair (14-15 July), and 3,000 each day for the rest of the fair period (16-20 July). More details can be found on the Book Fair website or mobile app: https://hkbookfair.hktdc.com/en/Visitor/Vaccination-Incentive-Campaign.html.
The well-being and safety of exhibitors and visitors is the top priority at the Book Fair. Various measures will be put in place to protect people against the pandemic, including requiring everyone entering and staying in the fairground to wear a mask, setting up temperature-screening stations, providing hand sanitiser at multiple locations around the venue, and stepping up the cleaning and disinfection of exhibitors' booths and the venue itself. To spread the flow of visitors and encourage the public to visit the fair during non-peak hours, in addition to offering morning admission tickets, the HKTDC has introduced night admission tickets as well as the special re-entry promotion. Physical ticket sales are not available at the fairground to avoid the use of cash and minimise contact. Visitors can pay with their Octopus cards at the entrance toll booths to gain entry.
The HKTDC Education & Careers Expo will be held at the HKCEC from 15 to 18 July, running in parallel with the Book Fair. Youngsters and jobseekers can access the latest useful information on education and career opportunities for their life planning at this one-stop event. Admission to the expo is free of charge.
The 31st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo and World of Snacks
- Hong Kong Book Fair: www.hkbookfair.com/en
- Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo: www.hkbookfair.com/hksportsleisureexpo/en
- World of Snacks: https://worldofsnacks.hktdc.com
- Photo download: https://bit.ly/3xHsB1H