Guided Tour

Date: 23 June, 2017
Time: 2- 2:30 pm

Venue: 3/F Au Shue Hung Memorial Library, HKBU
Language: Cantonese

All are welcome

*Tour will be cancelled if we have low registration.


Hong Kong Baptist University Library and Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) of the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) co-organise a special exhibition on ex-libris (Latin) or bookplates (English).

A bookplate is a slip of paper bearing the name of the book’s owner inside a book. In this digital age, the change of reading habit by reading online or using electronic means made ebooks exploded in popularity. Not only printed books but hand-printed bookplates are disappearing as well, especially in Hong Kong. Nowadays, this little known art form became ever more luxurious, unique and rare hidden treasures inside books. Bookplates originated from Europe in the 15th century, they appeared in China not until the Republican period. They are the perfect example demonstrating the adoption of western culture in the Chinese context and traditions as well.

The exhibition will begin from April 20 to July 8, 2017, presenting about fifty bookplates recently made by artists from 18 countries, including Europe, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This rare category of mini prints will be displayed alongside with some of their woodcut and copperplate print originals, which are extraordinary, and bookplates presented inside books as well as both scholarly books and technical manuals on bookplates will also be shown.

To provide public a complete picture of bookplates for their appreciation, in addition to the skills and technical complexity involved, the exhibition selects as wide a variety of artistic styles and countries as possible. It also illustrates some common printmaking techniques and lists the common technical symbols for this special kind of mini prints, and features bookplates with content ranging from Medieval illuminations to traditional Chinese villages.

This exhibition hopes to make these valuable and international bookplates known to as many people as possible. It also aims to stimulate more people to discover this endangered literary culture, keep it alive in Hong Kong and push it to the next level. A series of events promoting these treasures related to literary paraphernalia are organized, including the lectures and guided tours. A special booklet of highlight exhibits and bookplate articles has also been published for this exhibition.