visit London’s first annual Chinese book festival held in China Town (Friday 12 to Sunday 14 May 2017)

China Exchange presents China in Context, London’s first annual festival celebrating Chinese writers and writing, held in partnership with Cypress Books. Running from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 May 2017 11am-8pm, the festival will feature a host of inspiring events exploring literature, publishing and poetry, all in the heart of London’s Chinatown. There will be drop-in activities available all weekend and ticketed events can be booked via the China Exchange website. China is the world’s publishing powerhouse, and its role is only getting more prominent. China in Context will not only engage and inspire audiences with this rich literary

China is the world’s publishing powerhouse, and its role is only getting more prominent. China in Context will not only engage and inspire audiences with this rich literary tradition but will provide a platform for conversations that will shape the future of this remarkable industry. “This is a very special festival, as it is the first annual Chinese book event in London. We would love to run this festival and establish it as an annual event to enrich the culture diversity in the UK” Helena Zhang, Programme and Venue Manager, China Exchange.

At the heart of the festival is the book fair focusing exclusively on works relating to China. Spanning the whole weekend, the fair will cover everything from history and biographies, to classical and contemporary literature, Chinese learning materials, children’s books, food, pop culture, and arts. This special event will provide a great selection for literature lovers and China aficionados alike.

On Friday 12 May, Cypress Books is holding a seminar exploring the expanding opportunities for literary exchange between China and the UK. Leading experts will discuss the challenges facing the flow of books between the two countries, and share how collaboration and translation have helped to break down barriers. The event will provide a meaningful platform for the exchange of ideas and best practice within the industry.

On Sunday 14 May, the Yaji with Chinese Artists will bring a unique Chinese ritual to life. Meaning ‘an elegant gathering’, this event comes from the venerable tradition of literati art salons, celebrating refined pastimes such as tea drinking, guqin performance and art appreciation. Yaji were frequented by China’s most eminent scholars, and are often depicted in classical paintings. This free event will be an immersive experience lead by the artists themselves.

Celebrating writing inspired by China, the creative writing panel discussion will be moderated by Poet Mary Jean Chan and will feature four writers: Author Susan Barker, Author and Poet Jennifer Wong, Playwright and Historian Amy Ng, and Short Story Writer and Essayist Yeo Wei Wei. The conversation will centre on how they teleport readers through their re-imagining of the country, its culture and people.

China on Foot will explore travel writing with Zoë Reed, Michael Sheringham and Michael Freeman, who will discuss how their extraordinary journeys through China fueled their writing processes. Visitors can learn how to be a poet in 60 minutes with an interactive workshop, and venture into spoken word performance with an evening of open mic storytelling.

Free drop-in family shadow puppet making workshops will take place on both Saturday and Sunday. Run by Hatching Dragons, the UK’s first fully bilingual Mandarin-English daycare provider, families will enjoy stories, puppet shows and will learn to make their own shadow puppets to take home.