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Memorial exhibition of Jin Yong brings back the world of wuxia

“A Path to Glory - Jin Yong’s Centennial Memorial '', an exhibition celebrating the 100th birthday of the famous Hong Kong writer Jin Yong opened in Central on Friday, free to the public. Fans can immerse in the fictional narratives with sculptures, calligraphy, and augmented reality.

A two-metre-high bronze statue of Genghis Khan, the founding father of the Mongols known for his political and military prowess, is placed at the entrance of the exhibition.

10 sculptures made of bronze or stainless steel featured in the exhibition held in Edinburgh Palace, worth a total of HK$100 million, are on loan without charge from their creator, mainland Chinese artist Ren Zhe. The exhibition will open until July 2.

"Seeing these sculptures in person is more shocking than watching them on TV,"  said Joyce Cai, 63, who has read all the novels by Jin Yong. She came from Kwun Tong, which is an hour's drive away. “The expressions of these characters are so real.”

Joyce Cai, a fan of Jin Yong, poses for a souvenir photo with the sculpture of Zhou Botong in "Paths of Glory", who is known for his excellent martial arts and childlike innocence as "old codger".

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Friday, the centenary of Jin Yong’s birth, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said people worldwide are familiar with Jin Yong’s 15 novels which have become a “golden-plated signboard” for Hong Kong.

Jin Yong, also known as Louis Cha, is a prominent Chinese martial arts novelist and writer, whose 15 volumes of works have been translated into 14 languages and whose books have sold more than 300 million copies, with 1,400 characters created.

Zoey Siu, 55, a photographer, has read all of Jin Yong’s novels.

“Jin Young’s novel is the collective memory of Hong Kong,” she said.”Once Jin Yong's works were published, the whole city seemed to be quieter at that time because everyone was reading his stories.”

Siu was deeply impressed by Jin Yong’s style of writing and attracted by his psychological and detailed descriptions.

"Many foreigners are able to read Chinese and history probably because they read Jin Yong novels," said Chong Tai-leung, 55, executive director of Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance.

Sculptor Ren Zhe drew more than 3,000 manuscripts and studied Jin Yong's novels and related films before making the sculptures, with some of the manuscripts displayed in the yurt.

Chan Wah-Lung, 70, and Grace Luk, 68 who loved the twisted plots of Jin Yong's novels when they were young, brought their granddaughter to see the exhibition from the New Territories.

 "My granddaughter usually watches TV dramas remaking Jin Yong's work with us, and I hope she can also learn the spirit of the struggle of the heroes,” Chan said.

Chan Wah-lung and Grace Luk with their granddaughter took pictures with their favourite characters, Yang Guo and Xiaolongnu, who perform a complex and profound love in “The Return of the Condor Heroes”.
Visitors sitting on Xiaolongnü's “ice bed” to practise kung fu, which is one of the "punch cards" that restore the scene of the novel in the exhibition.

To immerse visitors in Jin Yong's imaginary world of martial arts, the exhibition is also set alongside multimedia installations created by Hong Kong Film Award-winning media artist Victor Wong and his team.

Ho Jing, from Zhuhai, scanned QR code on a board at the exhibition to take an AR photo featuring a dynamic dancing dragon.

Two yurts themed on "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" at the exhibition have 360-degree LED screens recasting some of the classic characters.

The venue features two yurts inspired by the Legend of the Eagle Shooting Heroes, featuring Interview footage, manuscripts, TV special, and multi-audio navigation.
AR enables visitors to immerse themselves in the world of wuxi.

Some visitors felt that the exhibition needed improvement.

“The exhibition is not rich or big enough, ”said Ho Jing, a fan from Zhuhai. “I hope to see more sculptures of characters from Jin Yong's works.”

Another visitor, Lau Lo watched a video of  Jin Yong’s interview and a TV show based on the books in the yurt. He thought the sculptures were not very attractive. “Some of the characters' features are hard to see clearly, rendering the whole work meaningless."

Visitors looking at drawings of the characters from Jin Yong’s books in one of the yurts.

"I didn't get to see some of my favourite characters from the Shooting Eagles Trilogy, though these red walls in the exhibit were well-designed," said Steve Lai, 30, a social media content producer.

Lai came from Shenzhen. He believes higher quality TV remakes will make more young people fall in love with Jin Yong's works.

Numerous film and television adaptations of Jin Yong's novels had been produced, with many becoming iconic in the realm of Chinese entertainment. And his influence on popular culture is evident in the countless video games, comics, and merchandise inspired by his works.

"I don't think foreigners and mainland visitors will come to Hong Kong specifically to see this exhibition, " said Chong Tai-leung, 55, executive director of Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance.

"Expanding the exhibition into a theme park might attract more visitors, and designing more interactive games about martial arts moves inside," said Chong. "Making the characters and weapons in the novels into cartoon formats, selling them afterward, would add more economic benefits.”

A set of special stamps and related philatelic products published by Hong Kong Post, showcasing Eight Famous Characters from Jin Yong's Novels, were on sale at the exhibition.

A separate exhibition has been on display at the Sha Tin Museum of Culture this Saturday, with 22 sculptures and manuscripts of Jin Yong's novels created by sculptor Ren Zhe, opening until Oct. 7.

The government allocated HK$15 million to the showcases under its Mega ACE Fund, with the exhibitions among other 80 mega events being held in the first half of the year.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department also announced a host of events paying tribute to Jin Yong, including an exhibition of costumes worn in the television adaptations of his novels during the Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival in April.

Tied in with the exhibition, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum will organise a series of special programmes, including themed talks,  workshops, concert performances, and displays with Chinese Hanfu costumes.








《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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