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Scent of books and scenes of Hong Kong for literature festival

The laid-back outlying islands and vibrant Central, sea breezes in Aberdeen and incense smoke in Wong Tai Sin, the birds in Mai Pao and street markets in Wan Chai, city space and architectural features. Different culture and characteristics of Hong Kong's 18 districts are often depicted in various local literature, be it literary works, poems, road signs or even comics, images and blog writings. The forthcoming 7th Literature Festival will feature the multi-facets of Hong Kong in literature with a wide range of lively activities.

Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) to promote literary creation and extensive reading, the bi-annual Hong Kong Literature Festival will run from June 27 to July 14.

The festival will present more than 40 interactive literary activities, including a thematic exhibition, symposiums, dialogue with creators, talks by award-winning authors, guided reading club, arts performances, interflow, literary walk, film shows and seminars.

Announcing the festival at the press conference today (June 12), the Assistant Director of the LCSD, Mr Lee Yuk-man said with "Scent of Books, Scenes of Hong Kong" as the theme this year, the festival would present the multi-facets and distinctive local characteristics of Hong Kong literature through the richness of its languages, styles, techniques and ingredients.

Mr Lee said it was hoped that the special theme would enable people to associate the place they lived with the literature it inspired.

The Vice-Chairman of the Literary Arts Group of the HKADC, Mr Christopher Chung Shu-kun, said the different interactive events and arts performances would arouse public interest in the fun of reading and creativity.

To feature Hong Kong as a unique and multi-faceted city with various districts so close-packed yet so heterogeneous, the "Thematic Exhibition: The 18 Facets of Hong Kong as Written in Literature", to be held from June 27 to July 14 at the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL), will showcase the 18 districts through various passionate local Chinese literary works.

Supplementing the exhibition, the "Literary Walk and Talk" will organise three walking trips to Wan Chai, Sha Tin, Tai Po and Western district with scholars and authors guiding readers to observe and examine how the scenes of these places depicted in their works are choreographed. Highlights of the literary walk will be recorded as radio and web TV programmes at the Radio Television Hong Kong.

Highlight of the festival is the symposiums entitled "Capsule Hong Kong: Reminiscences and Imagination", "Among Cities' Space: Architecture and Literature" and "Hong Kong Literature in the Eyes of Young Writers". A distinguished panel of writers and scholars from Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan will share their views on how local literature is developed under Hong Kong’s cultural environment.

The popular "Dialogue with Creators" will be held again this year. With a relaxed and casual setting, renowned creative writers will explore with participants eight areas of interests, ranging from writing and reading in English to blog writing, creation of martial art novels, literary art of road naming, Zhuzhi poetry and folk literature. All will broaden the horizons of creative writing and explore new areas for literature.

The session "Illustrated Literature & Books for Children and Youth" to be held at 4pm on July 8 at the HKCL will be conducted in English for participants to have dialogue with Regional Adviser for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Ms Mio Debnam and renowned columnist Nury Vittachi.

A new feature of this year's festival is the talk series by winners of the Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature. A number of winning authors will share their ideas on the creation of various literature genres.

To heighten the reading and research work of literature, experienced writers, scholars and book critics will lead the public in three sessions of "Guided Reading Club", tutoring participants to polish their skills in advanced reading and aesthetic appreciation of selected delicate literary works.

Not to be missed are the lively arts performances by various local performing groups. Local literature will be interpreted in drama, dance and performance art, with innovative ideas to give a new dimension to literature. Organised by the local arts groups, "Interflow" sessions emphasise participation in interactive and dynamic seminars, workshops as well as performances for literary exchanges.

As a contributing programme to the festival, the Hong Kong Film Archive has presented the "Care for Our Community" film series to screen 16 films made by local filmmakers from the 1950s to 2008 on Hong Kong's societal structure, living conditions, city landscape and family relations. Together with the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Lingnan University, three seminars will be held on various aspects of "Hong Kong People", "Hong Kong City" and "Hong Kong Life" through examination works of local films.

As a prelude to the festival, three activities "The Literary Performance Competition for Students", "The Charm of Hong Kong Neighbourhood Writing Competition" and "Picturesque Words: Photographs Titling Competition" have been held. Response to the competitions has been enthusiastic. Through writing, photograph titling, drama and story-telling, contestants have expressed their creativity and demonstrated the vitality of literature as a multifarious form of art. The winning entries will be displayed at the HKCL and selected libraries during the festival.

All activities, except the film shows, are free. Festival booklets are available at all public libraries, performing venues of the LCSD and the administration office of HKADC. For more details, see website:

Enquiries can be made at 2921 2662 (LCSD) or 2820 1032 (HKADC).

Ends/Thursday, June 12, 2008

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