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Taipei International Book Expo to bring novels to life with VR

Taipei International Book Exhibition, one of the most important publishing fairs in Asia, is set to open its doors Feb. 12 at Taipei World Trade Center. (Courtesy of TBFF)

Taipei International Book Exhibition, one of the most important publishing fairs in Asia, is set to open its doors Feb. 12 at Taipei World Trade Center. (Courtesy of TBFF)
 

The 2019 Taipei International Book Exhibition is set to kick off Feb. 12 at Taipei World Trade Center, spotlighting Taiwan’s vibrant publishing sector while offering visitors a feast of literature from around the globe.
 
Organized by the Taipei Book Fair Foundation under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, this year’s edition is themed Time for Reading and runs through Feb. 17. It comprises pavilions focused on design, children’s stories, digital publishing and local literature.
 
“Roaming in Fantasy: Creative Comic Collection Exhibition,” co-curated by the MOC and Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures, marks the first time the expo will use technologies like augmented and virtual realities to bring scenes from graphic novels to life. In one exhibit, users will be able to don a VR headset and sit on a saddle equipped with motion sensors to experience the scooter ride at rush hour depicted in the illustrated book “Love in the Sea of Motorcycles” by local comic artist Li Lung-chieh.
 
As guest of honor this year, Germany’s pavilion will showcase over 400 publications offering readers a deeper understanding of the European country. To mark the centennial of Bauhaus, there will also be a special exhibition shedding light on the legendary design school.
 
Andreas Gorgen, head of the Directorate-General for Culture and Communication at the Berlin-based Federal Foreign Office, said Germany’s role as TIBE theme country this year will help foster closer ties between the two sides.
 
According to the foundation, 13 best-selling German authors have been invited to speak at talks and workshops during the event. The lineup includes Ferdinand von Schirach, writer of the story collection “Crime,” which has been translated into over 30 languages; children’s book illustrator Axel Scheffler; and Miriam Meckel, editor-in-chief of Wirtschaftswoche—one of Germany’s leading economic magazines.
 
Other highlights include a display of works by 43 local illustrators and a special section commemorating late martial arts novelist Louis Cha, who was better known by his pen name Jin Yong. (CPY-E)