Reportage: Bloomin’ Bloomsday! James Joyce celebrated

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The first ever Bloomsday comes to Hong Kong as feisty, participatory celebration of James Joyce’s work and life is brought to Comix Home Base, Wanchai.


 

Hong Kong is enjoying a pot of  gold’s worth of Irish firsts this year. The first ever St. Patrick’s Day in March and now the first Bloomsday in years!

Bloomsday is the celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, whose novel Ulysses is re-lived annually through artwork, passage reading or music inspired by the writer. The event is held on June 16th, the day many believed “change his life” as it was the day that Joyce first went out with his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle. Since 2004, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland has organised exhibitions of the writer. ‘International Joyce’ has been presented in a range of venues internationally.

And in 2015, Bloomsday arrived in Hong Kong.  An exhibition was held in Comix Home Base Wanchai, Hong Kong, through the efforts of the Consulate.  Consul General of Ireland Peter Ryan led the proceedings with gusto.  Throughout the evening, many spoke, sang or read the work of James Joyce. Professors expostulated, masticated and ruminated, including the renown Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong Dr Peter Kennedy. Ciaran Murphy played Joyce-inspired music.  And a special guest came all the way from Ireland.

Robert Berry is the founder and artistic director at Throwaway Horse LLC, a company devoted to creating an understanding of literary masterpieces by accompanying visual aids of a graphics novel through the internet. Berry along with other members of the company were intrigued by the words of Joyce’s Ulysses, as such began an inaugural project in 2008 to bring the words that many are inspired by to life. He continues to draw Joyce’s works which were on display at Comix Home Base. In 2014 with the help of Stoney Road Press and James Joyce Centre in Dublin he was able to publish the illustrated edition of Joyce’s short story The Dead.

He presented his online interpretation of Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, rendered in http://ulyssesseen.com/.

The readings continued at Delaney’s including a reading of Joyce’s work in Chinese and some communal singing. A truly Irish evening!

 

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Xaviera Artaza
Intern Journalist at Harbour Times

Xaviera attends West Island School, class of 2017. She is the daughter of Mario Ignacio Artaza, who was also a journalist before becoming a diplomat for Chile. She is aspiring to become a professional journalist.”]