Photography

Ho, Fan (1931 - 2016)

Born in Shanghai, Fan Ho and his family settled in a buoyant Hong Kong in 1948. The centre of a chaotic atmosphere, the city had received the thousands of refugees of Japan’s invasion and thus was marked by despair, poverty and tumult. Yet, the photographer managed to capture an almost empty city, concentrating on individual subjects and scenes whose theatricality were enhanced by his dramatic use of light, shadow and smoke within geometric compositions - no wonder one of his series was entitled Living Theatre. With his black and white images, Fan Ho illustrated a nostalgic and melancholic cinematic Hong Kong where traces of modern life and issues disappeared behind traditional lifestyles as if reality had been erased: ‘I liked to concentrate and simplify the world in black and white, it was more suitable to my nature. I could express my emotions more freely, they were more fully under my control, [and the results were] surreal and semi-abstract. I liked this distance: not too close, not too far away…’ With his reclusive photographs, Fan Ho offered a seductive fantasy to Hong Kong’s inhabitants, that of loneliness.

Fan Ho, Afternoon chat, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Afternoon chat, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Arrow, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Arrow, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Ashore, 1963, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Ashore, 1963, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Busy Harbor, 1964, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Busy Harbor, 1964, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Construction, 1957, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Construction, 1957, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Coolies and hawkers, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Coolies and hawkers, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Daily routine, 1961, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Daily routine, 1961, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Evening in Aberdeen, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Evening in Aberdeen, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, In a Chinese street, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, In a Chinese street, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Inferno, 1962, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Inferno, 1962, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Lines & forms, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Lines & forms, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Lonely stroll, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Lonely stroll, 1958, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Man carrying box, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Man carrying box, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Obsession, 1964, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Obsession, 1964, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, On the stage of life, 1954, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, On the stage of life, 1954, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Pattern, 1956, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Pattern, 1956, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, People crossing, 1957, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, People crossing, 1957, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Rickshaw man, 1952, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Rickshaw man, 1952, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Shatin Morn, 1953, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Shatin Morn, 1953, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Sun Rays, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, Sun Rays, 1959, from series Hong Kong Yesterday
Fan Ho, A sad, sad song, 1962, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, A sad, sad song, 1962, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, A stage, 1959, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, A stage, 1959, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, After the war, 1948, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, After the war, 1948, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, All alone, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, All alone, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Back-Alley-Sine, China, 1947, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Back-Alley-Sine, China, 1947, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Balancing act, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Balancing act, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Bamboo men, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Bamboo men, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Billboad people, 1953, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Billboad people, 1953, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Boat women, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Boat women, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Braid woman rowing, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Braid woman rowing, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Burden, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Burden, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Children paradise, 1959, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Children paradise, 1959, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Children playing, 1964, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Children playing, 1964, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Circles, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Circles, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Cleaning, 1950, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Cleaning, 1950, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Crossboat, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Crossboat, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Deserted, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Deserted, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Dying Sun, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Dying Sun, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, East meets West, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, East meets West, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Evening ferry, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Evening ferry, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Floating life, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Floating life, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Furrows, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Furrows, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, High Noon, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, High Noon, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Hong Kong flea market, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Hong Kong flea market, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, In Paris, 1953, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, In Paris, 1953, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Journey Mystique, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Journey Mystique, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, La Strada, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, La Strada, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Les Miserables, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Les Miserables, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Life is a stage, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Life is a stage, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Little monk, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Little monk, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Little women, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Little women, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Man with dog, 1965, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Man with dog, 1965, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Meet the chef, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Meet the chef, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Mongkok market, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Mongkok market, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Moonlight Serenade, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Moonlight Serenade, 1958, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Old chinese teahouse, Shanghai, 1946, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Old chinese teahouse, Shanghai, 1946, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Out to Sea, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Out to Sea, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Rickshaw men, 1959, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Rickshaw men, 1959, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, The Evening of Life, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, The Evening of Life, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, The Market Parade, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, The Market Parade, 1963, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, The Other side of the Theatre, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, The Other side of the Theatre, 1957, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Tofu Delivery, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Tofu Delivery, 1961, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Three men walking, 1962, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Three men walking, 1962, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, White tent, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, White tent, 1960, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Women toilers, 1949, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Women toilers, 1949, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Twins, 1962, from series Living Theater
Fan Ho, Twins, 1962, from series Living Theater
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