Journey to Uncertainty

about Fan Ho

Since the 1950s, a man working studio taken photographs in the streets of Hong Kong, documenting the intriguing life around him. Rolleiflex in hand, he took to the streets, shooting the early skyscrapers, intriguing scenes and people who sometimes didn’t enjoy having their photograph taken — “With a knife in his hand, a pig butcher said he would chop me, he wanted his spirit back” —, or rather loved his attention so much that they “combed their hair and asked me to take their photos again,” as he himself remembers.

The man was Fan Ho. He would photograph late afternoon, process and print his film at night and do it all over the the next day. Giving a sense of history, some of the images have awards stamped on the back from competitions he entered. Sizes vary. No edition, unique pieces.

Born in Shanghai in 1931, an award-wining photographer Fan Ho won nearly 300 awards from international exhibitions and competitions worldwide between 1950’s and 1960’s — a span of 20 years. Further, he was an accomplished and acclaimed Hong Kong film director. He won the “Best Film Award” in Banbury International Film Festival in England. Three of his films was received the “Official Selection” of the International Film Festivals of Cannes, Berlin and San Francisco, and five of his films was selected in the “Permanent Collection” of the National Film Archives of Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Fan Ho died June 19, 2016. One of his fascinating shoots is called Journey to Uncertainty, maybe the right title for all his work, life and beyond, since the entire plot of his photographs seems to represent a long current road to the unknown, through light and shadow of their own existence.


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