【Hong Kong Arts Centre】 PLAY! Hong Kong Comix Touring Exhibition
1st – 3rd September First Stop Plays Out in Brussels (Belgium) & Helsinki (Finland)

The Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) and Comix Home Base (CHB) will present PLAY! Hong Kong Comix Touring Exhibition at The 8th Brussels Comic Strip Festival and The 32nd Helsinki Comics Festival between 1 and 3 September 2017. It will showcase a variegated collection of Hong Kong comics – old classics, newfound favourites and other excellent works – published in the past 60 years. A fun playground with lots to explore, this exhibition promises to engage with readers, comics artists and practitioners from Europe, allowing them to gain insights into Hong Kong comics and to meet visiting comics artists and publishers from Hong Kong.

The Brussels and Helsinki exhibitions are under the sponsorship of Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels, and form part of their programme of events in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The past 60 years has witnessed the flourishing of Hong Kong comics, with each decade having its own distinctive “playful” titles. In the 1960s, there were Old Master Q, 13 Dots and others; kungfu comics such as Little Rogues were born in the 1970s. While this kungfu trend continued into the 1980s and 1900s, subject matters became increasingly diversified, and one often saw intertextual linkages between comics, cinema and other mass media. After the turn of the century, independent comics abounded as comics artists sought new paths outside of the mainstream market. The HKAC branched out into comics in the 1980s, and in recent years, it has organised a lot of more long-term local and overseas projects that gather practitioners and foster exchange and collaboration. Examples include Comix Home Base, an exhibition project that ran from 2006 to 2007 in Hong Kong, and Kaleidoscope – History of Hong Kong Comics Exhibition, a travelling exhibit presented in Shanghai, Angouleme, Taipei and Hong Kong between 2009 and 2013, etc. In 2013, the HKAC established Comix Home Base (CHB) in Wan Chai, transforming the historic building into a physical space for exhibition of comics works.

Both Brussels Comic Strip Festival and Helsinki Comics Festival are reputable comics events in Europe – the former attracts more than 100,000 attendees every year, and the latter is the biggest festival of its kind in Northern Europe. PLAY! Hong Kong Comix Touring Exhibition will show to the European audience a diversity of Hong Kong comic books, original drawings, videos and products, manifesting the shared mission of the HKAC and the CHB to promote home-grown comics to the world. By charting the history of Hong Kong comics, the exhibition explicates how comics, as both a mass medium and an art form, relates to popular culture and society and how it has changed over the years.

The HKAC and the CHB have also invited two comics artists and one publisher to participate in each festival to host workshops, live drawing demonstrations and autograph sessions that are held concurrently with the exhibition. The two comics artists participating in Brussels Comic Strip Festival are Justin Wong and Overloaddance. Justin Wong’s political comics has been Hong Kong people’s constant companion in the face of uncertainty with its humorous edge in the past decade, and his Hello World series looks at the absurdities in society from his son’s perspective. Overloaddance is an emerging comics artist known for the clumsy fat guys he draws. The publisher who will travel to Brussels with them is Chi-man Ho, founder of Chiman Workshop and cBOY Comics Ltd. As for Helsinki Comics Festival, it will feature Alice Mak and Miloza Ma. As the illustrator and comics artist of the famous comics and animation series McMug & McDull, Alice Mak has a wealth of experience in areas of commercial production. Miloza Ma belongs to the new generation of artists, specialising in comics, illustration and character design. Her works express philosophical views on the universe. Karson Mak, founder of Today Publications Ltd., will also be present – he will share with attendees his thoughts on the younger-reader market.

PLAY! Hong Kong Comix Touring Exhibition will make its debut in Brussels, Belgium, and Helsinki, Finland. It will tour to Tokyo, Japan, in November 2017. Details will be announced later.

More details of the exhibition:
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Presenter: Hong Kong Arts Centre, Comix Home Base
Sponsor: Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Supporters: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Tokyo
In Association with: Brussels Comic Strip Festival, Helsinki Comics Festival, Belgium Hong Kong Society, Hong Kong Comics & Animation Federation, Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association

PLAY! Hong Kong Comics Touring Exhibition is an accredited event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Disclaimer: Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organizers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Communications and Creative Industries Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.
Hong Kong Arts Centre
Established in 1977, Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) is a self-funding organisation whose mission is to promote contemporary arts and culture within Hong Kong and beyond. Home to artists' creative exploration, the HKAC features various art forms by showing local and overseas artworks through exhibitions, in addition to organising programmes ranging from performances, conferences, seminars, screenings, art festivals and public art projects, all through the year. Always keeping up with our efforts, the HKAC is committed to enhancing Hong Kong’s position as an artistically vibrant city and linking art to the community.

Comix Home Base
Located between Mallory Street and Burrows Street in Wan Chai, Comix Home Base is a cluster of pre-war Grade 2 historic buildings refurbished by the Urban Renewal Authority, and operated by the Hong Kong Arts Centre for the five years following its opening in July 2013. Through exhibitions, master classes, seed programmes, provision of reading space, book release presentations and seminars, local and international comics are promoted to audience in Hong Kong and all over the world. CHB also encourages comics and animation creations through diverse aspects, including education, retail, research, documentation, etc. Revitalised from a historic architecture into the first art community featuring comics and animation in Hong Kong, CHB marks a milestone in the preservation of local history and promotion of comics and animation art culture. Not only will the CHB be a gathering point for comics and animation artists, it will also be an important platform for interaction and exchange between Hong Kong and overseas comics and animation art.

Create Hong Kong
Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated office set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to spearhead the development of Hong Kong’s creative industries. Set up in June 2009, CreateHK co-ordinates the Government policy regarding creative industries, focuses Government’s resources catering for the promotion and speeding up of the development of creative industries in Hong Kong, and works closely with the trade to boost the development of creative industries.

Hong Kong Arts Centre
Annie Ho
Marketing and Development Director
Tel:2824 5306 / 9481 8706

Fiona Lau
Marketing & Development Officer
Tel:2582 0215