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© Photo courtesy of HKTDC
© Photo courtesy of HKTDC

Reading The World With The 27th Hong Kong Book Fair

Picture of Michaela Fulton
Updated: 21 July 2016
Featuring both Chinese Martial Arts Literature as well as world-renowned authors, the 27th Hong Kong Book Fair has begun, based around an interesting theme: ‘Reading the World – Heroism and Romance of the Chinese Martial World’. Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), it welcomes an incredible amount of exhibitors from 35 countries and regions to more than 360 on-site activities arranged during the week-long literary event.

The event will highlight Hong Kong’s influence on the genre of Chinese Martial Arts, as well as attempting to evoke a stronger love for reading with visitors. It’s a theme that has permeated different industries over the years, from novels and short stories to TV series and computer games, that will be spearheaded by literary giants of both the era and genre.

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© Photo courtesy of HKTDC

The Chinese Martial Arts Literature exhibition – located in the Art Gallery – highlights key novelists of this wuxia (‘martial hero’) theme.

Liang Yu Sheng will be featured.  He was a renowned writer and pioneer of the wuxia genre who had two of his works, Baifa Monu Zhuan and Yunhai Yugong Yuan, adapted into television series. He wrote a total number of 33 novels during his lifetime and was known to open his novels with a poem. He infused elements of history into his stories.

Jin Yong, a Chinese novelist and essayist who co-founded the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao, will be featured as well. His works have been translated into a number of different languages, and he has gained an impressive following around the world. He wrote novels and novellas of various length that were initially published through installments in newspapers. His novels include: The Book and the Sword, The Legend of Condor Heroes, Ode to Gallantry and more.

Gu Long is considered one of the most important writers of the wuxia genre. His best works are exciting to read, with a style that is very unique. The most attention-grabbing works are The Legendary Twins (Jue Dai Xuang Jian), Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword (Duo Qing Jian Ke Wu Qing Jian) and The Tale of Refining the Sword Like Cleansing the Flower (Huan Hua Ci Jian Lu).

Ni Kuang is a Hong Kong-American novelist who has written over 300 wuxia and science-fiction novels and more than 400 film scripts. His science fiction stories often take the form of a mystery – where the unexplainable is often explained through extraterrestrial reasonings. This is an element which often seems to seep into the wuxia genre too.

Woon Swee Oan is a Malaysian-Chinese writer whose works – Jingyan Yi Qiang, Buyi Shenxiang and Si Da Ming Bu – have been adapted into television series The Four and Face to Fate.

Huang Yi is believed to have given new life to the wuxia genre after its decline in the 1990s. He combined science-fiction with the traditional Chinese culture to create a new style of work which became popular fast.

There will be a series of Book Fair seminars that will feature these renowned writers through the eyes of expert speakers – Professor Yumi Okazaki of Waseda University in Japan; Sham Sai-Shing, Chief Editor of the martial arts magazine, Wuxia Shijie; and Dr. Albert Yeung, Honorary Chairman of the Hong Kong Novelist Association.

Visitors will also be able to gaze upon the wondrous historical artifacts from their literary careers – first editions, original manuscripts and adapted comics – which have been jointly organized by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

© Photo courtesy of HKTDC

© Photo courtesy of HKTDC

Not only is it a literary journey of discovery, but it’s a cultural one too. Book Fair participants will be able to explore a number of relics at the Journey to Silk Road: Shaanzi and India exhibition. Bronze works dating back to the Western Zhou dynasty and Silk Road coins from Xi’an are just a few items among the collection on display to provide a unique view into the cultures of these areas.

© Photo courtesy of HKTDC

© Photo courtesy of HKTDC

Other activities and seminars include:

Writing Fiction for Hong Kong Children in English, Thursday July 21st, 11:30am – 1pm

Open Public Forum (5th Edition) – ‘How and What and Why Do Writers Write?’, Friday July 22nd, 4:25pm – 4:55pm

For a World Without Walls: Literature and Childhood, Friday July 22nd, 6pm – 7:30pm

Dastaan – Stories that Define the Spirit of South Asia, Sunday July 24th, 11:30am – 1pm

Gweimui’s Hong Kong Story, Monday July 25th, 3pm – 4:30pm

Shake Shake Shakespeare, Monday July 25th, 3pm- 4:30pm

Tracing a 7th Century Chinese Monk’s Journey to India, Monday July 25th, 6pm – 7:30pm

© Photo courtesy of HKTDC

© Photo courtesy of HKTDC