Fans of best-selling Hong Kong novelist Jin Yong have another reason to celebrate.
The Jin Yong gallery is now open to the public after three years of construction, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The gallery has more than 300 exhibits including posters, movie clips, illustrations and a manuscript of The Smiling, Proud Wanderer which is being displayed for the first time.
The gallery, inspired by Dr. Louis Cha, better known by his pen name Jin Yong, occupies 2,000 square feet in the Shatin Hong Kong Cultural Museum.
It was built with HK$10 million in funding from the government through the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department applied to the Legislative Council for funding of the facility three years ago.
Lam Kwok-fai, curator of the Heritage Museum, said the Cha family has been on board throughout the construction of the gallery, providing some of Jin Yong’s personal items such as glasses, cameras and chess boards for the exhibition.
Among the 300 exhibits, more than 200 are on loan from the Cha family. The rest were borrowed from Jin Yong scholars and enthusiasts.
One of the most precious exhibits is the 1967 manuscript for The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. The Singaporean paper Shin Min Daily News used traditional typography at the time, making it rare.
Interactive elements have been added to the gallery with 17 computers to facilitate the public’s understanding of Jin Yong’s works.
The gallery also features an interactive photo booth, where visitors can transform themselves into characters in his novels.
A month-long exhibition of drawings by Jin Yong illustrator Lee Chi-ching is also open to the public.
The exhibit features more than 150 paintings of Jin Yong characters.
Lee has been Jin Yong’s preferred illustrator since he started drawing his books into comics.
Lee was given complete freedom to execute Jin Yong’s works with the understanding that the characters would not be changed too much.
Tuesday’s opening of the gallery was part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Hong Kong’s handover to China.
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