4th November 2020 – (Hong Kong) In the fight against the pandemic, everything comes to a halt, but we can still open up a vast world as long as we keep reading. Organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the 2nd Hong Kong Library Festival carrying the theme of Reading Quartet reaches out to present four thematic groups of programmes, including cross-sector arts, multi-media, virtual technologies, and arts activities. Integrated with online platforms, the Festival this year allows readers to go beyond spatial boundary to enjoy diverse reading experience. Online or offline, real or virtual, readers will be able to construct their multi-faceted worlds through reading.
The meanings of actual and virtual readings are two-fold. First, artists and writers construct imaginative and artistic worlds based on real life; second, the Festival combines physical books with virtual media technologies to provide diverse reading experience, for reading to become a part of participants’ lives. Featuring four sections: Light and Shadow, Innovative World, Variety Show on Stage, and Living with Books, the Festival’s varied activities are not only disseminated to the Hong Kong Central Library and the public libraries across 18 districts in Hong Kong but also held on the thematic website for readers to join cross-genre workshops as well as reading events. In collaboration with different units and partners to organise creative activities, the Festival creates the opportunities for readers to traverse the border between the real and the virtual, appreciate performances transformed from texts, and enter the many worlds built using diverse reading methods.
“It All Begins with a Word”
Reading creates worlds. French philosopher Michel Foucault has asserted that a library is a place that encloses all times, all forms, and all tastes. The Hong Kong Library Festival this year highlights a cross-generational Hong Kong. Fragments of texts come together to create new stories. Being one of the highlights jointly staged by the Library Festival and ReNew Vision, “It All Begins with a Word”, curated by local media artist Hung Keung, is a multi-media artwork collaged with interactions, video records, sounds, lights, and performances. Multiple artists were involved in the creative process, and they drew inspirations from Hong Kong writers’ works between the 1960s and 1990s. Creative contents will be premiered on social media platforms serving as a prologue for the physical exhibition next year. As the reading mode shifts from online to offline, readers will be able to experience and appreciate texts in differing contexts and have a glimpse at the wisdom and vision generated from the crossover between Hong Kong literature and transmedia arts.
Reading goes beyond spatial boundary. Connecting works from different generations, the Festival provides multiple angles for appreciating our living space. In the Light and Shadow section, the Tour Around 18 District programme offers enriched reading experience through story sharing sessions and multi-media games. The picture books with the theme of the 18 districts of Hong Kong contain children stories that combine district scenic spots with communal memories. Also, VR games developed by Hong Kong Design Institute allow readers to tour around 18 districts while visiting the programme venue. Moreover, two popular writers well-liked among students and youngsters, Zhuo Ying and Yau Yan-ni, will moderate online reading clubs that invite readers near and far to discuss their favourite books.
Days are heavy, but reading
is uplifting. It brings us through actual and virtual realities. Whether in the
imaginative world inspired by reading or the comfortable space created by
technologies, let the transformation of reading counter the change of life, and
let us dwell poetically in reading anytime anywhere.
I. Light and Shadow
The basic of “Light and Shadow” is to start reading with text, and then use various multimedia elements such as light and shadow to enrich the reading experience and process, and let the readers have a deeper impression and imagination on the content.
II. Innovative World
“Innovative World” brings together innovative technologies and ideas, sharing on how to integrate technology with daily life, inspiring young creative ideas, and attracting them to the library to read more books on related subjects.
III. Variety Show on Stage
“Variety Show on Stage” provides a platform for the audience to appreciate the artworks evolved from the text. Through the performance, the audience can have a deeper understanding of the meaning of the text. It also brings art to the community through cooperation with the Audience Building Office.
IV. Living with Books
Through different themes and different types of activities that are closely related to reading, “Living with Books” aims to cultivate the habit of reading for readers.
activities of the Hong Kong Library Festival are free of charge, while seat
reservations are required for some events. Details are available on the HKPL’s
thematic website (www.hkpl.gov.hk/hklibfest), “Reading is Joyful” Facebook
page (www.facebook.com/readingisjoyful) and Instagram page (www.instagram.com/readingisjoyful).