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The international section of this year’s book exhibition was especially admirable. The Hong Kong Literature section successfully sold 52 contemporary titles on the opening day of the exhibition. Starting from June 3rd, they were able to earn approximately USD 2,000 dollars every day. For small publishing houses that took part in the book exhibition for the first time, the results were impressive. Hong Kong author Tang Siu Wa, who organized the Hong Kong Literature section, expressed: “Taipei International Book Exhibition is, among all the major book exhibitions in Asia's Mandarin-speaking world, the most complete and organized one so far…within the chaos around the world, where lockdowns are still happening and restrictions are being imposed, what I’m feeling is exactly the meaningful determination, insistence, and accomplishments.”
Germany, a country with a vibrant publishing industry, had Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH organize their section this year. The themes they included were: queer, race, transgender, subcultures, self-recognition, graphic novels, psychology, and professional intellectual titles. Bookseller Sunny Books also collaborated in an exhibition of winners of Germany’s three major literary awards: World’s Most Beautiful Book Awards, The Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, and The German Book Prize. The German Literature section exhibited nearly 600 titles, and Goethe-Institut Taipei organized panels on cultural equity, historical memories, and Artificial Intelligence. All these vibrant scenes showed that the amount of publications are still increasing during the post-pandemic period.
In response to international events, Taipei International Book Exhibition, alongside book fairs in Frankfurt, London, Bologna, Guadalajara, and more, all expressed their deep regrets and sorrow toward the Ukrainian war that started in February this year. To condemn war and advocate for peace, the Taipei International Book Exhibition organized a Ukraine section in the exhibition, using Stand with Ukraine as its motto, including a collaboration with Ukraine’s Pictoric illustrators: carefully selected 15 artworks depicting scenes of Ukrainian refugees looking for a way out, the war destroying their homes, and Ukrainian citizens’ loss and grief, hoping to create a global conversation through art in pursuit of eventual peace. Valentina Butenko, the visiting book-selling manager of Ukraine’s YAKABOO platform, narrated the details of Ukraine’s history and its connection to the world, and also emphasized the importance of Ukraine’s languages and the deep meanings of recognition of a country. What was even more worth mentioning is that the “Peace Book Exhibition,” specially designed by Taipei Book Fair Foundation, attracted many audiences and professionals to browse and read, reflecting on the value and truth of peace.
Ukraine Section: Stand with Ukraine
(c) Taipei Book Fair Foundation
The 2022 Taipei International Book Exhibition, apart from highlighting the promotion of publications, also hoped to connect to global publishing houses that specialize in children’s picture books and graphic novels, to provide new perspectives. This year, there was a special invitation curated by visual artist Page Tsou, designing “Visual Fanzine – Illustrated Landscape of the Encounters of Taiwanese Artists” beside the conventional book exhibition space. This other space exhibited artworks and books from 23 illustrators who had recently been awarded national prizes or had successfully sold their titles to foreign publishers. Illustrators such as the internationally-acclaimed Jimmy Liao; Inca Pan, the very first Taiwanese artist who went on the New York Times and had created discussions from his NFT artworks; Gao Yan, the cover designer and illustrator of the well-known Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s prose collection Abandoning a Cat; Cho Pei-Hsin, the winner of Bologna's 2021 International Award for Illustration, and more.
Looking ahead to the 2023 Taipei International Book Exhibition, the planning for the guest of honor is ready to be launched. Poland, a country that deeply values history, music, science, education, and children’s rights, houses five winners for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and they will be advocating national literary awards winning works as well as children’s picture books that are brimming with poetic aesthetics. Under the solid tradition of documentary reportage, they will be introducing established literary works and their authors, hoping to establish more meaningful connections with Taiwanese readers, as well as publishing professionals in Asia. From January 31st to February 5th, 2023, publishing friends and readers from all over the world are welcome to visit!