CUHK Press Titles Earn International Recognition in Unprecedented Selection for the AUPresses Book, Jacket, & Journal Show
Five books published by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press (CUHK Press) have been selected for the 2021 Association of University Presses (AUPresses) “Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.” This is the first time that multiple books from a Hong Kong publisher have won the honour of the Show at the same time, and CUHK Press is among the few Asian publishers who have been recognised by the Show since its inception. Out of the 523 admitted entries, there is a total of 101 outstanding entries selected for this year’s Show and they are now on virtual display at the official website.
Established in 1937, AUPresses is an organisation of more than 150 international nonprofit scholarly publishers. AUPresses has promoted the essential role of a global community of university presses whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. It has been holding “The Book, Jacket, and Journal Show” annually for more than 50 years. With esteemed designers reviewing hundreds of submissions and selecting the very best examples, the Show is a true celebration of the craftsmanship of book design and production.
Committed to fostering cultural and academic exchanges between the East and the West, the CUHK Press is regarded as one of the world’s most renowned publishing platforms on China Studies and Asian Studies. During the past decade, under the leadership of Director Ms. GAN Qi, the Press has made tremendous achievements and has won a number of local and international awards. Selection for the AUPresses Show is yet another recognition of the undertakings and successes of the CUHK Press by the global publishing community.
The five selections include four titles in the “Hong Kong Literature Series,” namely Lotus Leaves and Dragons written by Leung Ping Kwan, The Drunkard by Liu Yichang and The Best China edited by John Minford. So … You Have Decided to Become a Physician by internationally acclaimed physician Prof. Dimitrios Linos is also among the selections. Lotus Leaves has been selected under the category of “Poetry and Literature” and the other four selections are under the category of “Book Jackets and Covers”.
“Hong Kong Literature Series” wishes to introduce to the world literary works from Hong Kong. The editor and the book designer of the series hope to present the uniqueness of the Hong Kong style. Sinologist Prof. John MINFORD, editor of “Hong Kong Literature Series” noted, “The cover design of the series as a whole reflects the creativity, individuality, and free spirit of Hong Kong literature. The selected works are a wonderful contemporary example of book production, from details of layout design and typography, to the quality of the paper binding.” Mr. CHAN Hei Shing, book designer of the series, reckons that the text is the soul of the book which enlightens and innovates designers’ works. He hopes to get rid of the perceived stiff impression of Hong Kong by the public through his visualisation of the uniqueness of Hong Kong in the designs, and present the hidden depths of Hong Kong’s soul to the world. Unlike the stereotypical presentation of a literary canon, Mr. Chan uses bold colour mixtures and gradients to present the diversity and modernity of the city. For instance, contrasting colours such as the pale green and petal pink chosen for the cover of Lotus Leaves by the late poet Leung Ping-kwan express the essence of “boundary-crossing” between Chinese and Western cultures. With black, gold, and silver as the main tones, a silhouette of a dragon, vaguely visible on the cover, is the characteristic of the magical and mysterious style of Leung Ping-kwan’s Dragons. Images of spilling liquor, dazzling neon lights, and their shadows are delicately arranged on the cover of The Drunkard by Liu Yichang to reflect the psychedelic and delusive stream-of-consciousness stories. The cover of The Best China, featuring a composite image of a round Chinese teapot and a lean British teapot with floral and bird patterns, reflects Hong Kong as a mix of the East and the West.
Ms. Bianco TSAI, book designer of So … You Have Decided to Become a Physician, is pleased that the book has been recognised by the international community. A painting by the author adorns the cover, with special pastel pink and light chartreuse to underscore the tenderness of the work. The author Prof. Dimitrios LINOS sees the wheat in the cover painting as a symbol of his desire to plant seeds for the medical profession. He believes that the design successfully conveys his encouragement of future doctors to foster their creativity.