Questions and bits with Mary Chan [MCCM Creations]

1. Who is Mary Chan?
Except for a pure Chinese genetics and inheriting a bit of looks and temper from parent, MC is quite a hybrid. Lucky enough, our material world is becoming more hybrid than ever, somehow MC fits in - somewhere.

2. What made you go into books' publishing?
A long complex story. To cut it short – One day in 2000, I bumped into our first author, and was shown a children manuscript, I like the story and the subject right away, well, with no idea of what the illustrations will be. Having complete confidence in the author’s illustration works, we come up with a book format, here we go - the first title was published in Mar 2001 – Where is The World? by Peter Suart.

3. How's the world of publishing in Hong Kong? Do you have institutional support or is MCCM really independent?
Tough… and extremely tough for the genre of books we are into.
MCCM Creations is completely independent. There is always at least one experimental element or more in every book we publish. It is its complete independency that allows us the freedom of trying out new ideas and risking no returns without getting fired.

4. Does the first MC of MCCM stands for Mary Chan, what about the CM? Is it a palindrome? Can your books be read onwards and backwards?
The guess is almost correct. For sure, one must re-read our books, it would certainly be a different reading experience.

5. Making books is the only possible way to say things that could not be said any other way? Or is just entertainment?
Among the diverse medium of expression, books are by far the most travelable and most tactile. Yes, in one way or another, books should ‘delight’ and ‘enlighten’ readers.

6. Would you change the idea of a book just for business sake?
The soul and the charm of a book lay with the originality and integrity of the author(s) works. We only consider adjusting the physical book form to suit readership in book markets of different cultural context, but never sacrifice the soul of the story/works.

7. If you could, what would you like to publish? Which book, which author?
Publishing material should carry a spirit and a life of its own – whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. We fancy for books with words and images of fine art quality. We also love to work with authors who have a generous heart to give as well as a strong will and principle towards life and the world.

8. What are your views about the end of traditional printing and the change to digital format, like electronic ink (e-ink) and electronic books?
Physical books will never die. Nothing can replace the physical book so long as there are people loving to touch papers, to feel and to flip a book with hands.
Both physical book and e-book will exist but electronic medium will definitely become more dominating in the next 10 – 15 years with this generation of people going more into e-communication.

9. Between the world of books and the world of newspapers if there was a war who would survive? Could the World survive without any of them?
In this imaginary war, books would win in the physical world and newspapers will triumph in the net world.

10. Do you stand for direct elections? Do you care?
Only when the general public has a clear and rational judgment to identify what they seek for and what exactly they need, direct election would then work.

11. Do you think Al Gore should be the next Nobel Prize for Peace? Are you an environmentalist? Are you worried? What is your dream world?
Al Gore is one of the timely facilitators who bring attention to many the most-threatening scenarios we are in. But don’t know why he is associated with Nobel Prize for Peace.

I treasure the nature and the environment we are living in. If we attune ourselves to the basics – no wastage, no excessive wants, no excessive use, no excessive desires, lesser greed, we could have a more peaceful naturalistic world.

12. How do you see Macau from overseas?
People, place and personal experience create impressions on a place. Likened to having same mother with different fathers, Macau, to me, having an easy and gentle disposition, is now a lively and energetic sister to Hong Kong. Seeing one can’t change the fact - Macau will be a ‘Las Vegas in the Orient’ – I only wish the flashiness won’t take away the living heritage of the local Macanese.

13. Any special word for our readers, for us, for the future? What word should be written on the walls of every city if there could be only one?
Revisit your roots. Back to the basics.
Mary Chan lives in Hong Kong glowing MCCM Creations, that keeps publishing, since 2001, some of the most beautiful and unique books in the world.


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