Chinese master of black and white photography Fan Ho’s work was on show at Shanghai’s M97 Gallery until 12 November 2016.
Launched in September 2016, “On the Stage of Life” featured a selection of vintage prints by Fan Ho, including some award winning images by “the great master”. Art Radar celebrates the iconic photographer and his work in an exclusive photo gallery.
Chinese photographer Fan Ho was nicknamed “the great master”, earning his fame as one of Asia’s most influential photographers who captured the soul of Hong Kong over half a century ago, winning over 300 international awards for his images. The exhibition “On the Stage of Life” on show at Shanghai’s M97 Gallery brought together a selection of vintage silver gelatin prints by the photographer, which were developed by the artist in the darkroom close to the time the images were captured. Included in the show were also some award winning photographs like Street Scene.
Born in 1931 in Shanghai, Fan Ho passed away in June 2016 in the United States. At the age of 18 in 1949, he moved with his parents to Hong Kong, where he continued to pursue his growing passion for photography.
His images of Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s belie a feeling of nostalgia for the past of the city and the love for its common people. The stillness of his images captured ethereal moments with smoky lights, dramatic shadows and isolated figures.
Fan Ho was most prolific in his teens and reached the apex of his creative output in his 20s, producing his biggest body of work before he reached the age of 28. In 2010, driven by his creative motto of “keep trying, keep creating, keep experimenting, and keep breaking the rules”, Fan Ho revisited his negatives from the Hong Kong era, unafraid to experiment with techniques he had not tried before.
His work reached beyond Hong Kong since its early days in the 1950s, appealing to audiences both in the West and East. His photographs are now part of many private and public collections, the most notable being Hong Kong’s M+ Museum, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Bibliothèque National de France, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art, among others.
“On the Stage of Life” by Fan Ho ran from 10 September to 19 November 2016 at M97 Gallery, Shanghai.
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