An alternative exhibition

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 12:00am

THE HONG KONG Book Fair has always been the highlight of summer, but this year it is no longer the only choice for book lovers. Ngau Pang Book Fair 2003 promises to promote exchange and sharing among literary fans.

Organised by Cattle Depot Artist Village (CDAV) and 1A Art Space, the exhibition runs from tomorrow until August 5 at the CDAV in To Kwa Wan, intentionally held at the same time as the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's Book Fair in Wan Chai.

'The Book Fair has been too commercial over the past few years - the reading culture is lost,' says Long Tin, co-ordinator of the Ngau Pang Book Fair.

'They focus too much on the display and sale of books and have not provided any channels for publishers, writers and readers to communicate.' He says the Ngau Pang Book Fair will focus on cultural exchange and freedom.

Apart from featuring books and other literary works from more than 20 publishers, the fair also offers writing workshops, sharing sessions hosted by acclaimed writers, a forum for readers to exchange their opinions and video shows about celebrities' book collections.

Long Tin says they want to give readers more options. 'We want to create an atmosphere [to help people] to appreciate the art of reading,' he says.

Instead of having pop idols or love story authors signing their newly released work, Chinese literary scholars such as Lo Wai-luen, widely known by her pen name Xiao Si, will give talks at the fair.

'It's another kind of book exhibition,' Xiao Si says. 'There ought to be different things in the world. This [book fair] facilitates communication among book lovers, authors and publishers.'

The writer believes the Hong Kong Book Fair is too crowded and commercial. 'It's for those who seldom visit bookstores,' she says.

Other speakers include Taiwanese novelist Lu Ping, local poet and writer Leung Ping-kwan, author Tung Kai-cheung and Kung Lap-yan, associate professor of religion at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Other programmes include an exhibition on publishing and a video cafe where visitors can watch videos submitted by members of the public.

Admission to the book fair is free.

For details about the Ngau Pang Book Fair, visit or call 2529 0087