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5th HK Literature Festival to present new vision

The general public will have the chance to explore literature from a new angle, when an innovative literary festival opens in Hong Kong next month.

Jointly presented for the second time by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) to promote reading and Hong Kong literature, the 5th Hong Kong Literature festival will be held from July 2 to 18.

The Festival will present more than 30 interactive activities featuring various media and the public will be encouraged to participate.

The programmes feature an exhibition, symposiums with writers and scholars, talks on literature, meet the writers and artists sessions, competitions and translation workshops, film shows, a youth literary camp and arts performances.

Speaking at a press conference today (June 16), Chief Librarian (Hong Kong Central Library and Hong Kong Island) Ms Alima Tuet said that with this year's theme – New Vision of Literature - the Festival would explore the meaning and function of Hong Kong literary arts in the new era.

Training in creativity and language education had become increasingly important in Hong Kong and it was hoped that the Festival would help to draw on collective wisdom and to explore new directions for literary development, Ms Tuet said.

The Chairman of the Literary Arts Group of the HKADC, Dr Chan Man-hung, said the Festival would focus on the growing trend towards making use of different media to present literary works. He said the tradition “book" form was no longer the only medium for presenting literature, and so there were now more opportunities to expose young people to literary works.

One of the highlights of the Festival is the “Thematic Exhibition - Portraits of Hong Kong Writers", which features over 160 portraits of Hong Kong's writers, their works, manuscripts, literary supplements and periodicals. Divided into eight sections, the exhibition also features well-known local writers such as Jin Yong, Lo Wai Luen, Liu Yi Chang, Lee Yee, Eileen Chang, Leung Ping Kwan, Chu Pu Sun, Xi Xi and others, focusing on their contributions to local literary development.

The Festival has organised three symposiums with more than 10 writers and scholars from the Mainland and Hong Kong to discuss the development of literature. The themes of the symposiums are “Education and Values in Life", “Social Reality and Concern" and “Literary Arts and Life".

There will also be a series of “Literary Talk", a “Dialogue with Creators" and a “Translation Workshop" for writers, academia and artists to share with audiences topics on literary education, their creative path, reading, writing and translation techniques.

The “Interflow" sessions, which are organised by the local arts groups, will have interactive programmes including the “Seminar on ‘Newspaper Supplements and Cultural Education', the “Secondary School Poetry Competition and Multi-media Recitation" and a session entitled “Vision in Multi-media Metropolitan Culture".

Many of the literary works have been adapted into movies. This year, four literary films including, “Father Takes a Bride", “Garden of Repose", “The Splendor of Youth" and “Sunrise", which are based on the works of Eileen Chang, Ba Jin, Zheng Hui, Cao Yu, will be shown at the Hong Kong Space Museum on July 10 and 11. Tickets priced at $30 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients.

Another highlight is “Arts Performance" executed by various performing groups. Children's literature, well-known poems and other works of writers will be interpreted in drama, music, dance and Cantonese opera, with innovative ideas to give a new dimension to literature.

In addition, a three-day youth literary camp will be organised by the LCSD, RTHK and the Hong Kong Institute of Education to encourage youngsters to learn creative writing in a relaxed, outdoor atmosphere through authors’ talks, tutorials and campsite activities.

All the activities (except the “Youth Literary Camp" and “Literary Film Appreciation") of the 5th Hong Kong Literature Festival are free of charge.

Festival booklets are available at all public libraries, cultural venues of the LCSD and the administration office of HKADC. For more details, see the website: .
Enquiries can be made at 2921 2648 (LCSD) or 2820 1017 (HKADC).

Ends/Wednesday, June 16, 2004
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