Let’s be honest, it is very rare we come across photographers who shake us instantly, make us believe in the magic of photography at its very rawest again; photographers who get engraved in our hearts from the first sight to their work. Fan Ho was that kind of artist for me. At 84, he passed away from pneumonia on June 19, 2016 at a hospital in San Jose, California leaving us a remarkably unique body of work. I came across his magical photos this winter and since then I am hypnotized by the imagery he used to create.
Fan was born in Shanghai, China in 1931 and started his photographic journey at the age of 13, when his father gave him Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera. Moving to Hong Kong, he began exploring the city via photography later on in the 1950s. The vitality bursting collection of photographs of Hong Kong street life gained Fan international attention, exhibitions, and over 280 photography awards.
Being one of the top photographers in the world and one of the most influential photographers in Asia, Fan was invited by 12 universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong as "visiting professor" teaching the art of filmmaking and photography.
Fan used to wait for the perfect light and composition to fall into that one decisive moment when photographing. He aimed to capture magic through his Rolleiflex one frame at a time and he did it brilliantly.
I’m still finding some new ways of seeing. A new approach, a new kind of experimentation.
Fan was elected Fellow of the Photographic Society of America, Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, England; Honorary Member of the Photographic Societies of Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, and etc., and honored with many one-man shows in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
Here is a detailed video done while he was alive and a small selection of his remarkable work to honor this bright artist we lost.
More of Fan's work in shown on his website where you can also find "Fan Ho - Hong Kong Yesterday," a publication available for purchase.
Images used with permission of Mark Pinsukanjana, the agent and representative of Fan Ho's estate.