This is how Hong Kong looked like 60 years ago
Fan Ho - Hong Kong Venice, 1962

Fan Ho - Inferno, 1962
Fan Ho – Inferno, 1962

Photographer Fan Ho was born in Shanghai, China in 1931 and immigrated to Hong Kong in his teens where he then began to photograph the drama of city life, ranging from the teeming markets to desolate alleyways. A Hong Kong Memoir completes Ho’s trilogy that he began with Hong Kong Yesterday and The Living Theatre, in which he introduced viewers to Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s, using his exceptional eye for light, structure, and his patience, waiting for the right moment to take the photo.

His photobook, A Hong Kong Memoir, illuminates the differences in Hong Kong during different times, and highlights the differences in wellbeing when so many different people were immigrating to Hong Kong, many fleeing Shanghai due to the Nationalist-Communist Civil War, serving to create an assortment of cultural diversity and language barriers, and of course social inequality. The government provided those who were born in Hong Kong with housing and education, the incoming refugees were not provided with the same opportunities by any means. This discrepancy is highlighted in Ho’s photos, as you can see the distinct differences between precarity and affluence, while the use of light and dark emphasizes the dualistic nature of life in Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s.

The influential photographer Fan Ho shows the beauty of life while also showing disparity that accompanies social and economic inequality- using light and dark to contrast the images.

Fan Ho - A Day is Done, 1957
Fan HoA Day is Done, 1957

Fan Ho - World Upside Down, 1960
Fan HoWorld Upside Down, 1960

Fan Ho - Works, 1964
Fan HoWorks, 1964

Fan Ho - W, 1959
Fan HoW, 1959

Fan Ho - The Omen, 1964
Fan HoThe Omen, 1964

Fan Ho - The Lone Ranger, 1954
Fan HoThe Lone Ranger, 1954

Fan Ho - Sun Rays, 1959
Fan HoSun Rays, 1959

Fan Ho - Street Scene, 1956
Fan HoStreet Scene, 1956

Fan Ho - Steps
Fan HoSteps

Fan Ho - Private, 1960
Fan HoPrivate, 1960

Fan Ho - People Crossing, 1957
Fan HoPeople Crossing, 1957

Fan Ho - Pattern, 1956
Fan HoPattern, 1956

Fan Ho - On the Stage of Life, 1954
Fan HoOn the Stage of Life, 1954

Fan Ho - Obsession, 1964
Fan HoObsession, 1964

Fan Ho - Mother's Helper, 1967
Fan HoMother's Helper, 1967

Fan Ho - Man Carrying Box, 1954
Fan HoMan Carrying Box, 1954

Fan Ho - Lines & Forms, 1959
Fan HoLines & Forms, 1959

Fan Ho - Journey to Uncertainty, 1956
Fan HoJourney to Uncertainty, 1956

Fan Ho - In a Chinese Street, 1959
Fan HoIn a Chinese Street, 1959

Fan Ho - In a Buddhist Temple, 1961
Fan HoIn a Buddhist Temple, 1961

Fan Ho - Hong Kong Venice, 1962
Fan HoHong Kong Venice, 1962

Fan Ho - Her Study, 1963
Fan HoHer Study, 1963

Fan Ho - Flare, 1966
Fan HoFlare, 1966

Fan Ho - Danger, 1965
Fan HoDanger, 1965

Fan Ho - Daily Routine, 1961
Fan HoDaily Routine, 1961

Fan Ho - Coolies and Hawkers, 1958
Fan HoCoolies and Hawkers, 1958

Fan Ho - Construction, 1957
Fan HoConstruction, 1957

Fan Ho - Childhood, 1959
Fan HoChildhood, 1959

Fan Ho - Busy Harbor, 1964
Fan HoBusy Harbor, 1964

Fan Ho - Between Showers, 1962
Fan HoBetween Showers, 1962

Fan Ho - Ashore, 1963
Fan HoAshore, 1963

Fan Ho - As Evening Hurries By, 1955
Fan HoAs Evening Hurries By, 1955

Fan Ho - Arrow, 1958
Fan HoArrow, 1958

Fan Ho - Approaching Shadow, 1954
Fan HoApproaching Shadow, 1954

Fan Ho - A Day is Done, 1957
Fan HoA Day is Done, 1957

 

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