Fan Ho (1937 – 2016)

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Ho Fan (Chinese: 何藩) (born 8 October 1937) is a celebrated Chinese photographer, film director and actor. He has won over 280 awards from international exhibitions and competitions worldwide since 1956 for his photography.

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Biography

Fan Ho was born in Shanghai in 1931, but immigrated with his family to Hong Kong at an early age. Ho began photographing at a very young age with a Rolleiflex camera his father gave him. Largely self-taught, his photos display a fascination with urban life, explored alleys, slums, markets and streets, depicting the street vendors and children only a few years younger than himself. He developed his images in the family bathtub and soon had built up a significant body of work, chronicling Hong Kong in the 50s and 60s as it was becoming a major metropolitan centre.

Upon seeing Ho Fan’s work for the first time in 2006, gallery owner Laurence Miller commented that “[t]hey felt like direct descendants of the Bauhaus, yet they were made in Hong Kong. They were abstract and humanistic at the same time.”

Ho Fan is a Fellow of the Photographic Society of America, the Royal 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.

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Film

Ho Fan is an accomplished and acclaimed Hong Kong film director and actor.

Ho joined Shaw Brothers in 1961 to develop his career in cinema. He acted in several movies and was an assistant in the movie The Swallow (1961). Ho won praise for his performance as the Monk, Tripitaka, in the lavish Shaw Brothers adaption of Journey to the West cycle of films.

During the early 1960s he also produced a pioneering series of independent short films, the first of which ‘Big City Little Man’ / 大都市 小人物 (1963, 30min) won the “Honor Award Certificate” from the Japan International Film Festival, 1964.

Ho left Shaw Brothers in 1969 to developed his career as a director, making over 20 films with various studios in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He has had three films in 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. As well as his independent film work he is acclaimed for pioneering the erotic field in cinema, with such cult films as ‘Adventure in Denmark’ (1973), ‘The Girl with the Long Hair’ (1975) and the highly successful ‘Temptation Summary’ (1990).

According to Mark Pinsukanjana, director of Modernbook Gallery in San Francisco, CA, his debut feature Lost from 1969 is Ho’s favourite. As Pinsukanjana said describes: “In “Lost”, one will see the chaotic life of one man in Hong Kong. The film follows him and finds the beauty that surrounds him; he is lost because he never saw it. I think that one can say that this is similar to Fan Ho’s photographs in the sense that Hong Kong is crowded, busy and chaotic to many, but for Fan Ho, he was able to convert [what he found] and find beauty.”

He has also served on the jury of the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival and Hong Kong Oscar Film Award.

Chinese photographer Fan Ho died of pneumonia on Sunday, June 19th, 2016, at a hospital in San Jose, California. He was 84 years old.

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Filmography

All films directed by Ho Fan.

Short films:

Big City Little Man / 大都市 小人物 (1963, 30min, Hong Kong)

Home Work / 習作之 (1966, 40min, Hong Kong)

Feature films:

Lost / (1969, Dir, Hong Kong)

血愛 / Love And Blood (1972, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Wai Diy

Adventure In Denmark (1973, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Wai Diy

The Miserable Girl (1975, Dir, Hong Kong)

The Girl With The Long Hair (1975, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers

Body For Sale (1976, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Lo Wei Motion Pictures

戇哥哥/Go A Little Crazy (1977, Dir, Hong Kong)

Innocent Lust (1977, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers

Notorious Frameup (1978, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers

Hello Sexy Late Homecomers (1978, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers

Expensive Tastes (1982, Dir/Writer, Hong Kong)

台北吾愛/Two for the road, Taipei my love (1984, Dir/Writer, Taiwan) Prod. comp.

Smile Again (1985, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Golden Harvest

Yu Pui Tsuen (1986, Dir, Hong Kong)

心鎖/Desire (1987, Dir, Taiwan)

Brief Encounter (1988, Dir, Hong Kong)

Erotic Nights (1989, Dir/Writer, Hong Kong)

Temptation Summary (1990, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Sam Po Film Co

Bibliography

The Living Theatre, Ho Fan, 176 pages, April 2009, Modernbook Editions

Hong Kong Yesterday, Ho Fan, Ed. John A. Bennette, 112 pages, June 2006, Modernbook Editions

何藩國際大獎攝影全集/Complete collection of Ho Fan’s international award-winning photographic art, 台北市 : 歐語, 1982

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Fan Ho ..me

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