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Fan Ho
Fan Ho

Fan Ho

Country: China
Birth: 1931 | Death: 2016

Fan Ho’s (born in Shanghai in 1931) photographic career started at the early age of 14 when given his first Kodak Brownie from his father. Within the first year he won his first award in 1949 in Shanghai. At the age of 18, he acquired his twin lens Rolleiflex with which he captured all his famous work after he moved to Hong Kong with his parents and continued to purse his love for photography.

Dubbed the “Cartier-Bresson of the East”, Fan Ho patiently waited for ‘the decisive moment’; very often a collision of the unexpected, framed against a very clever composed background of geometrical construction, patterns and texture. He often created drama and atmosphere with backlit effects or through the combination of smoke and light. His favorite locations were the streets, alleys and markets around dusk or life on the sea.

What made his work so intensely human is his love for the common Hong Kong people: Coolies, vendors, hawkers selling fruits and vegetables, kids playing in the street or doing their homework, people crossing the street… He never intended to create a historic record of the city’s buildings and monuments; rather he aimed to capture the soul of Hong Kong, the hardship and resilience of its citizens.

Fan Ho was most prolific in his teens and 20s and created his biggest body of work before he reached the tender age of 28. His work did not go by unnoticed at his time. He won close to 300 local and international awards and titles in his day through competing in the salons. His talent was also spotted by the film industry where he started out as an actor before moving to film directing until retiring at 65.

Fan Ho is a Fellow of the 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. He most recently won a "Life-time Achievement Award, the 2nd Global Chinese International Photography Award, China, 2015" by the Chinese Photographic Society (Guangzhou).

During his long career he has taught photography and film making at a dozen universities worldwide. His work is in many private and public collection of which most notable are: M+ Museum, Hong Kong, Heritage Museum, Hong Kong, Bibliothèque National de France, Paris, France, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, USA and many more.

Source: fanho-forgetmenot.com

 

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In 1997–98 he concentrated on people living on the "Green Line" separating Northern Cyprus, illegal migration across the Albanian–Greek border, and young people in Tokyo; and for the next two years Albanians fleeing Kosovo. He also worked on a commission from the University of the Aegean on storytelling in the region. Economopoulos was dissatisfied with the assignment in Japan, as he felt unable to communicate with people and was just as estranged after three weeks of work as he had been on his arrival. By contrast, he writes that "I prefer to spend my time in my corner of the world, south Europe and west Asia, where I understand the codes and can make connections." This does not mean that the Balkans are an open book to him: Economopoulos has also written of the paradoxes apparent in Albania; and also across the Balkans, where faces can be sad even in wedding parties. Economopoulos's photography of Turkey won him the 2001 Abdi İpekçi Award for promoting friendship between Turkey and Greece. Painfully aware of the bitterness often encouraged in both Greece and Turkey toward the other, he has written appreciatively of the personal welcome given to him by the Turks that he meets. "There are no real differences [between Greeks and Turks]. I love Turkey and I can live there. I can't live in Paris or in London. But Istanbul — I can live there." Economopoulos's photographs have been published in The Guardian, The Independent, Le Monde, Libération, The New York Times, El País, and Die Zeit. He feels that there is no future in photojournalism. There is a loss of quality in photographs in newspapers, and Robert Capa would not take photographs if he were living today. But he concedes that Abbas and James Nachtwey would be among those who disagree.Source: Wikipedia In the mid-1990s, he started photographing the Roma and other minorities. In 2000, he completed a book project on the Aegean islands storytellers, commissioned by the University of the Aegean. A retrospective of his work titled Economopoulos, Photographer was published in 2002 and later exhibited at the Benaki Museum, Athens. Returning to Turkey, he pursued his long-term personal project, where he received the Abdi Ipektsi award (2001), for peace and friendship between Greek and Turkish people. He has recently turned to the use of color. Currently, he is spending most of his time away from Greece, traveling, teaching and photographing around the world, in the context of his long-term On The Road project.Source: Magnum Photos
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