This exhibition showcases the last body of work of prominent photographer Fan Ho as embodied in the book project ‘Portrait of Hong Kong’. For this final endeavour the celebrated and much-loved photographer and film director, Fan Ho, went through his extensive archive of negatives to compile a of series of work that had not previously been published. In 2015 Fan Ho selected about 500 old negatives from his own archive which he then cropped in his signature style. After the deeply unfortunate event of his passing, it took another year for the project to be completed with the help of his family and Sarah Greene. 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.
The photographic selection expressed in this new body of work feels more natural, indeed closer to documentary and pure street photography compared to his previously highly stylised approach. In his own manifesto ‘Thoughts on Street Photography’ which he wrote at the age of 28, and of which carefully selected quotes can be found throughout the book, he explains, “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."
The book, published by Hong Kong’s WE PRESS in June 2017, was awarded ‘Best Book of the Year’ by the HK Federation of Book Publishers in the 11th Hong Kong Book Prize Competition (2018). This award for Fan Ho, who already amassed close to 300 accolades, thusly reaffirms his popularity in Hong Kong and beyond.
The exhibition will feature about 40 works including some rare vintage pieces. The book with the same title ‘Portrait of Hong Kong’ will be available during the exhibition.