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2021 Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF)

Theme - 긋닛:斷續 punctuation

 

2021.08.02

 

The 2021 Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF) is set open at S-Factory in Seongsu-dong for 5 days from September 8th to 12th under the theme of “긋닛:斷續 punctuation.” This year’s fair will have its role as “market” complemented, which was assessed to be lacking in last year’s fair when it was open online for the first time due to the pandemic. In addition, reflecting the readers’ demands for an offline meeting, this year’s fair will be more compact though smaller in size compared to last year.

 

긋닛:斷續 punctuation
The theme of the 2021 Seoul International Book Fair “긋닛” read as “gutnit” is an old Korean word meaning close to the state of “intermittent,” pausing and continuing repeatedly. It also has the meaning of comma (,) and full stop (.).

Topic of 2021 SIBF
At this juncture, the 2021 Seoul International Book Fair approaches. While vaccines and medical treatments are being developed at lightning speed, rapidly emerging one after the other, the next step remains unclear. Which punctuation can be used at this point? It may be a period to indicate a full stop or a comma that grants us temporary rest before we continue with our previous lives. Perhaps it is a colon that signals clarification about human existence, or a question mark to query the issues inherent in our lives. This year, we are in search of a new path connecting the disconnected at this time of utmost caution with a yearning for connection.

 

The Seoul International Book Fair shifted the venue from COEX (convention center) to S-Factory for safety and the exclusive concept of the book fair this year. The regional characteristics of Seongsu-dong where it used to be a factory area in the past, and of S-Factory, which was formerly a car repair shop, will be blended for the concept of “warehouse.” Tables for participants will be made of pallet racks, standard materials in warehouses. Also, “pre-cycled” items will be used for interior structures utilizing ready-made goods, minimizing trash thrown away after the fair. This is an improvement from last year’s fair, where installations could not be reused afterward.

 

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Sector A, the exhibition hall
 

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View inside sector D, which will be used as a marketplace for participants
*Previously used as a car repair shop

 

 

For the book fair’s PR ambassadors who are usually under the spotlight of readers’ attention, novelist Chung Se-Rang, biologist Choi Je-Cheon, and musician Hwang So-Yoon will be joining this year. They will be taking a photograph for the main poster and have discussions with readers on-site about the fair’s theme “gutnit (punctuation)” Also, architect Noh Eun-Joo, actress Moon So-Ri, and performance artist Lee Ja-Ram will be standing on the stage as keynote speakers. This year’s SIBF will be a venue for people to have discussions and thoughts about the topic from various viewpoints by expanding the topic into not only books but also cultural art.
Meanwhile, experts from each field will open “topic seminars” where they link key points of the current generation with the theme and look at them from various perspectives, examining social phenomenons from various angles.

 

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Main poster of 2021 SIBF (from left, novelist Chung Se-Rang, musician Hwang So-Yoon, and biologist Choi Je-Cheon)

 

 

Various programs to be open at the Seoul International Book Fair

 

The program “Time with Authors” will be inviting more writers from overseas online for participants to interact in real-time, as it is difficult to meet them offline due to the pandemic. Bernard Werber, one of the most beloved foreign authors in Korea, Jonas Jonasson, no.1 author in Sweden (The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (The Open Books Co.)), Douglas Kennedy (The Big Picture (Balgunsesang)), Chan Ho-kei (13.67 (Hans Media)), and a number of other foreign writers will be joining Korean readers through on-site live programs and pre-produced videos. Also, representative Korean writers such as novelist Han Kang and Chung Yu-Jung will also take part, enriching the book fair. Plus, through the programs and events designed by publishers, the participants, it will be a festive fair where publishers, authors, and readers communicate both online and offline.
The 2021 Seoul International Book Fair will be presenting the expansive nature of books linked in various forms as colorful contents including “Gutnit (punctuation): New World’s Coming,” the topic exhibition, “Best Book Design from all over the World and Korea (BBDWK),” and e-book exhibition.
In “Gutnit: New World’s Coming,” which reflects the theme of the fair “gutnit (punctuation),” the exhibition will be in the style of an archive that reviews the 70-year-history of SIBF launched in 1946. The exhibition will serve as a window where we can take a sneak peek at the advancement of the publishing industry and social growth, looking back at the traces of the fair’s history in which the fair halted and stopped in between time but got back on track again soon.
Meanwhile, the “Best Book Design from all over the World and Korea (BBDWK)” exhibition offers a chance to take a detailed look at what elements make a book beautiful by displaying the winners of the Best Book Design in Korea Contest hosted in cooperation with Goethe-Institut of Germany, winners of the Best Book Design from all over the World Contest in 2021, and all-time winners of the best prize “GOLDEN LETTER.”
Also an e-book exhibition will be held focusing on webtoons and webnovels, the original sources for IP in the story business, by expanding the scope of e-books. It offers readers various opportunities to experience programs combined with digital technologies.

 

* 〈K-Book Trends〉 Vol. 34 – Article on the “Best Book Design in Korea Contest”

 

Meet the 2021 Seoul International Book Fair through Books

 

Program “Book-City-Stroll,” designed for readers that are unable to attend the offline book fair to join in, will be run in Daejun, Busan, and Jeju this year after improving the scheme from last year where it was only run in Seoul. A total of 139 bookstores (71 from Seoul, 13 from Daejun, 24 from Busan, and 31 from Jeju) will participate, and more readers will be able to enjoy the book fair through the programs and stamp events prepared by each bookstore.
Plus, some books will be meeting the readers for the first time at the book fair, and some others will only be available during the fair. For example, Sweets but Sours will be exclusively premiering ten new titles during the five days of the book fair. Readers will be the first to meet the books and authors debuting at the book fair. Also, Oldies but Newies will be introducing re-covered editions of books, the hidden gems that readers did not know or loved for a long time. These books will be exclusively showcased at the SIBF. Meanwhile, Limited Edition is the book fair’s original content where the fair requests authors to write a book with the fair’s topic as the keyword. Produced in small quantity, this year’s Limited Edition will include works of 27 authors, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photograph, and plays.

 

On top of all this, the Seoul International Book Fair runs the SIBF Rights Center (rights-center.sibf.or.kr) in a bid to establish a network for domestic and foreign publication and culture industries through the exchange of copyright import and export. Shifted from offline to online, it provides a platform for anyone to have counseling on copyright export regardless of time and space. Private online meetings based on pre-registered information will take place to expand export routes of domestic publication rights. Also, the participants will have a moment to examine the changes and possibilities in the publishing industry, along with ways to respond to such cases, through the online seminar where publishing trends and issues at both home and abroad are shared.
This year’s SIBF will only receive a limited number of visitors adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines of the government. Tickets for the offline book fair are available on Naver, and during the pre-reservation period from July 23rd to August 31st, they are to be offered at a discounted price. Please refer to the website and Instagram for more information on the programs and details.

 

Website: sibf.or.kr/2021
Instagram: @sibf_2021

 

 


Written by Kim Sun-Mi (International & Project Department, Korean Publishers Association)

 

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Kim Sun-Mi (International & Project Department, Korean Publishers Association)

#Seoul International Book Fair#SIBF#punctuation#Sweets but Sours#Oldies but Newies
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