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Chinese publishers seek cooperation, exchanges at Frankfurt Book Fair

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-21 08:53

FRANKFURT, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The 71st Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest of its kind in the world, attracted more than 7,400 exhibitors from 104 countries and regions, where business cooperation as well as exchanges of ideas were taking place over the five-day event.

More than 100 publishers from the Chinese mainland attended the fair this year. Dozens of new books, ranging from multilingual editions of Chinese literary classics to latest book series on China's development, were launched during the fair.

Numerous cooperation agreements were signed between Chinese publishers and their peers from the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia and Romania, among others.

This year, several publishers and institutions were also seeking unique ways to promote Chinese arts and culture, offering dialogues between the old and the new, the east and the west in front of an international audience.


On a digital screen -- 22 meters long and three meters wide, an illustrated panorama of the Grand Canal of China -- a UNESCO world heritage site, and its changes through history, were put to animation, with 1,700 figures, 200 boats and a myriad of details to look at.

Based on the original illustrations done by Chinese artist Du Fei and put forward by the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House (ECPH), the installation "China Through Time" was brought to an overseas book fair for the first time and was an eye-catching project at the book fair's THE ARTS+ exhibition area.

"The story is very well told," Alejandra Panighi, a visitor who works in the visual industry, told Xinhua.

The investment in technology is combined with an amazing way of showing the traditional drawing, which is very interesting to see, she said.

Holger Volland, vice president of Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH and founder of THE ARTS+, said the installation was a wonderful example of the effort to showcase arts through new technologies.

According to Yang Zhen, head of the project, a brand has been registered for producing physical books and other products in the future. In fact, they have reached an agreement with British publishing company DK to launch multilingual editions of an illustrated book under the same title to international markets as early as January 2020.

Ian Hudson, CEO of DK, said he was very impressed by the creativity of the artist. He hopes the decade-long cooperation between DK and ECPH could be even closer with the new book, which combines ECPH's experience and expertise and the design and editorial expertise of DK.


Forums organized by Chinese institutions at the book fair this year created spaces for dialogues between authors, publishers and artists from the east and the west.

The renowned Sinan Book Club from Shanghai debuted at the book fair this time, with an interesting conversation on Thursday between guests from China and Germany on the vitality and international influence of online literature. It was jointly organized by Shanghai Writers' Association and Shanghai Century Publishing Group.

First launched in February 2014, the Sinan Book Club has held more than 300 sessions in Shanghai.

The event is part of the official program of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which marks an important effort to promote international exchanges through the window of literature, according to Sun Ganlu, vice president of Shanghai Writers' Association.

Sun said the event this year could be a starting point.

"While introducing first-class international authors to the Chinese readers, we hope to continue introducing Chinese literature, publishing and reading activities to an international readership through platforms like the Frankfurt Book Fair," he said.

One of the guests, Michael Kahn-Ackermann, sinologist and former director of the Goethe-Institut China, said the Sinan Book Club has been one of his favorite organizations, and face-to-face exchanges between authors and readers are a great way to promote literature.

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