Late Legendary Photographer Fan Ho’s ‘Portrait of Hong Kong’
Why We Recommend it
40 works by renowned and beloved photographer Fan Ho — including some rare vintage pieces — depicting the rugged street scenes of old Hong Kong will be on show at Blue Lotus Gallery.
“My realistic street photos are rarely selected. Pictorial aesthetics and images with a sense of humour are still the key for salon photos but I expect changes to happen soon. In the meantime, I will just keep trying.” — Fan Ho, ‘Thoughts on Street Photography’, 1959.
Photographer and film director Fan Ho (1931 – 2016) is best remembered for his elegant and highly stylised monochrome photographs of Hong Kong and its people. The exhibition Portrait of Hong Kong is curated to show another side of Ho’s extensive oeuvre: a body of work that feels more natural, and closer to documentary and pure street photography.
In 2015, Ho selected and cropped about 500 old negatives from his own archive to compile a of series of work that had not previously been published. When he passed away a year later, the photographer left behind an unfinished book and the dying wish that it would be completed.
Ho’s family and Blue Lotus Gallery founder Sarah Greene joined forces to complete the project, which resulted in the publication of ‘Portrait of Hong Kong’. The book, which features photos of day to day life that capture the raw beauty of the city’s contrasts and energies, is a testament to Ho’s inventive and inquisitive spirit alongside a deep love for his native city.
The Portrait of Hong Kong exhibition will feature a selection of these photos. The flow of images takes you on a journey travelling from West to East of Hong Kong Island, starting with the boat people, moving through construction and modernisation, across the harbour to Kowloon side, ending in the New Territories and the quiet waters of Hong Kong.
Photo: Fan Ho – ‘Young Musketeers (當年情)’, Hong Kong 1950s and 60s, courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.