THE STORY OF FAN HO

The Pottinger Hong Kong is a distinctively designed and decorated hotel which features a number of striking images by one of Hong Kong’s most famous sons, photographer and film director Fan Ho.

Born in Shanghai in 1931, Fan Ho first delved into photography at the age of 14, when his father gave him a Rolleiflex twin-lens camera. After moving to Hong Kong in 1949, he began taking photographs of the streets and alleys of old Central, and of other markets and street stalls in the Hong Kong of the time. His creative output in the 1950s and 1960s included what are now recognised as some of Hong Kong’s most iconic photographic images. Between 1958 and 1965, he was eight times named one of the Top Ten Photographers of the World by the Photographic Society of America.

Mr. Ho received over 280 photography awards in his long career. His work can be found in public and private collections worldwide, including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Melbourne Museum. Mr. Ho also worked in film, first as an actor for the Shaw Studios, from which he moved into directing. He directed a total of 27 films in his 35-year film career.

Mr. Ho saw himself as a voyeur and a flâneur, sometimes waiting for hours and going back to the same location for months on end for that one perfect photo. Known for his remarkable handling of shadows, lighting and lines, Ho managed to imbue his photos with a sense of romance and mystery, whether taken in bustling markets or quiet alleyways. His pictures depict both the hardship and the can-do spirit of Hong Kong, one that has characterised this city for many generations.

Up until his passing in 2016, Mr. Ho was still working every day, exploring ways of using modern photo processing technologies to create new works using his old film negatives. Many of his images were taken in his favourite place on Earth – Central Hong Kong.