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Pseudo models steal focus at book fair
By Peggy Chan (HK Edition)
Updated: 2009-07-22 07:41

 Pseudo models steal focus at book fair

Exhibitors busy themselves as they prepare for the upcoming Hong Kong Book Fair in Hong Kong yesterday. The annual book fair will be held from today through July 28 and is expected to attract thousands of people. China Daily

HONG KONG: The 20th Hong Kong Book Fair opens today and to the disdain of some avid readers, those controversial "pseudo models" will attend, promoting their books of racy photographs.

The fair's sponsor, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), assured yesterday the "pseudo models" will not bring chaos or disruption to the world of letters.

The Book Fair runs from today through July 28 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai. It will showcase more than 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions, a record high.

Two areas will be designated for the public to assemble in quest for autographs, at the Expo Drive entrance and the Chancellor Room on the fourth floor, where the pseudo models will hold forth.

"The HKTDC is highly concerned about the safety of book fair visitors. The models will be on the fourth floor so visitors need not worry about being affected by writer autograph sessions, which will be carried out in an orderly manner," said William Cheung, the HKTDC's head of media and public affairs.

The Chancellor Room can house 500 to 600 people and three booths will be set every hour.

That it was prudent to relegate the pseudo models to a safe out-of-the-way setting became apparent when masses of people went on the Internet, protesting from the social networking site Facebook that the teenage models did not belong in the literary arena. Form seven student Isaac Cheung Chun-hoi will organize a silent protest at Golden Bauhinia Square from 4:30 pm to 5 pm today.

He expected 20 others to join him in opposing the presence of the teen models. After that, he will hand over a petition to a HKTDC representative. William Cheung of HKTDC argued that the presence of pseudo models promoting their books of photographs taken in sexy attire will be disruptive to the spirit and order of the book fair.

Cheung assured that staff will call off promotional activities immediately if public order is disturbed. Exhibitors are also being reminded to behave themselves as a matter of top priority.

"There are only 12 photobooks involving the young models. The book fair isn't occupied by them as someone described," he added.

The completion of the HKCEC Atrium Link expansion enlarges the book fair by one-third this year, offering wider passage in the exhibition halls. There will be benches and one more cafe for visitors to rest.

A new "English Avenue" with more than 50 booths will be featured while the Taiwan exhibition area will occupy over 900 square meters,, the largest representation from Taiwan ever.

More than 200 cultural events such as writers' sessions have been arranged. That's 20 more than last year. There will be a designated area for visitors to review the past 19 editions of the book fair.

Admission tickets for adults are HK$25 and HK$10 for children.

"Last year we had 830,000 visitors. I believe the attendance this year will surpass this figure," Cheung said.

(HK Edition 07/22/2009 page1)