Ho Fan, R.I.P. (1931-2016)

PRESS RELEASE, Hong Kong, 21 June 2016 (6pm)

'Internationally acclaimed photographer and film director Ho Fan passes away at 84 in United States on 19 June 2016.'

Ho Fan, celebrated photographer and film director aged 84, passed away on 19 June, 2016 (Sunday) in San Jose, California, United States surrounded by his close family due to a bout of pneumonia. A small private will be held with close relatives and family only. 

(Condolences can be sent to Sarah Greene which will be passed on to the family.  Blue Lotus Gallery, 1606 Chai Wan Industrial City Phase 1, 60 Wing Tai Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong)

"It's with great sadness to announce Hong Kong's most beloved street photographer Ho Fan has passed away last Sunday surrounded by his close family in the hospital of San Jose. He is to date the most phenomenal talent I ever worked with. It was my outmost privilege to have the opportunity to work with the artist and contribute to restoring his well deserved fame and glory in Hong Kong. His photography capturing Hong Kong in the 50's and 60's through his unique visual language of light and shadow provides an important humanistic record of that time and era. I learned so much from him and still do every day. I will miss him dearly. He was truly magic." [Sarah Greene / Blue Lotus Gallery]

Ho Fan enjoyed three distinctive careers: a celebrated photographer, Shaw Brothers actor and an acclaimed film director

Ho Fan, nicknamed ‘the great master’ earned his fame as one Asia’s most beloved street photographers capturing Hong Kong in the 50’s and 60’s. 

Ho Fan’s photographic career started in Shanghai at the early age of 14 when given his camera for his birthday from his father. Within the first year he won his first award. In 1949, at the age of 18, Ho Fan’s parents moved to Hong Kong where the young Ho Fan continued pursuing his love for photography.

Dubbed the ‘Cartier-Bresson of the East’ he captured the ‘decisive moment’; very often a collision of the unexpected, framed against a very clever composed background of geometrical construction and texture. He often created drama and atmosphere with backlit effects or through the combination of smoke and light. His favorite locations were the streets, alleys and markets of Hong Kong around dusk.

What made his work so intensely human is his love for the common Hong Kong people; coolies, vendors, hawkers selling fruits and vegetables, kids playing in the street or doing their homework, people crossing the street… He never intended to create a historic record of the city’s buildings and monuments; rather he aimed to capture the soul of Hong Kong; the hardship and resilience of its citizens. 

Ho Fan was most prolific in his teens and 20’s and created his biggest body of work before he reached the tender age of 28. His work didn’t go by unnoticed at his time. He won close to 300 local and international awards and titles in his day through competing in the salons. His talent was also spotted by the film industry where he started out as an actor before moving to film directing until retiring at 75. 

Ho Fan is a Fellow of the Photographic Society and the Royal Society of Arts in England, and an Honorary Member of the Photographic societies of Singapore, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy and Belgium. During his long career he has taught photography and film making at a dozen universities worldwide. His work is in many private and public collection of which most notable are: M+ Museum, Hong Kong, Heritage Museum, Hong Kong, Bibliothèque National de France, Paris, France, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, USA, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA.

In front of the cameras, he was most notably as the monk in Shaw Brothers' lusty four-part adaptation of the classic novel ''The Monkey Goes West'', ''Princess Iron Fan'' (1966), ''Cave of the Silken Web'' and ''The Land of Many Perfumes''.

Ho became a full-time director after leaving Shaw Brothers in 1969, making a name in the erotic field with his experimental film ''Mi'' (1970), which was screened at the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, and the commercial feature ''Adventure in Denmark'' (1973). Ho Fan's ''Temptation Summary'' (1990) was the first 'Category III' picture to surpass HK$10 million ad the box office. He won the “Best Film Award” in Banbury International Film Festival in England. Three of his films have received the “Official Selection” of the International Film Festivals of Cannes, Berlin and San Francisco; and five of his films have been selected in the “Permanent Collection” of the National Film Archives of Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has also been elected as “judge” of the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival and Hong Kong Oscar Film Award.

It is this diverse cultural background that makes Fan Ho’s creative style so unique, full of lyrical beauty, dramatic power, and poetic grandeur. 

+++

This press release is distributed by Blue Lotus Gallery & Consultancy, Hong Kong with support of Ada Wang | WE PRESS. 

For more info and images please contact: Sarah@bluelotus-consultancy.com | Sarah Greene | + 852 6100 1295

Handled by IMPACT MEDIA:  for enquiries (chinese), please contact:

潘麗瓊 Carmen Poon:35904775/ 90772790

歐陽玲 Kennix Au-Yeung: 35902694/ 94918732

 

+ + +

Chinese Version:

國際知名攝影大師及導演何藩先生

六月十九日於美國病逝  享年八十四歲

國際知名攝影大師及導演何藩先生,於六月十九日(上周日)在家人的陪伴下,因肺炎惡化在美國加州聖荷西的醫院與世長辭,享年八十四歲。對於摯愛離世,其家人深表哀痛。

被譽為攝影界「一代宗師」的何藩先生,一九三一年出生於上海,自十四歲生日獲父親送贈相機後,展開攝影之路,一年內已獲人生首個攝影獎項。他於一九四九年與家人移居香港,全憑捕捉光與影的天賦,以及對社會民生的觸覺和熱愛,利用照片記錄五、六十年代的老香港街頭寫照,至今成為經典之作,令人讚嘆。

何藩先生憑「Fan Ho」之名在國際攝影界打響名堂,曾奪得近三百個地區和國際性獎項,其作品亦獲世界各地的博物館收藏,包括香港M+博物館、香港文化博物館、法國國家圖書館、美國三藩市現代藝術博物館及澳洲墨爾本海事博物館等。他亦是英國皇家攝影學會及英國皇家藝術學會會員,以及多國攝影學會榮譽會員,包括新加坡、阿根廷、巴西、德國、法國、意大利及比利時,去年獲中國第二屆全球華人攝影大獎頒發「年度致敬人物獎」。

何藩先生對影像的唯美追求,亦於電影事業中展現。六十年代他曾於邵氏兄弟電影公司擔任演員,參演過著名電影《不了情》、《西遊記》及《藍與黑》等,其中以飾演唐僧最為人所知;其後以導演身份進軍影壇,一九七零年憑實驗電影《迷》揚威康城及柏林影展,曾執導逾二十部電影,活躍於七、八十年代的香港電影圈,作品包括《春滿丹麥》及《空中少爺》,多為唯美文藝電影,直至九十年代退休移居美國。

何藩晚年出版《Hong Kong Yesterday》、《The Living Theatre》及《A Hong Kong Memoir》攝影集,結集畢生經典作品,流傳後世。

何藩先生的家人,對於至親畢生的成就及對社會的貢獻,感到莫大的光榮,並會延續其熱愛生命的精神。其家人表示,何藩先生的葬禮,將會以私人形式舉行,感謝各界友好的關心和慰問。