Fan Ho (1931- 2016)

Fan Ho, nicknamed ‘the great master’ earned his fame as one Asia’s most beloved street photographers capturing Hong Kong in the 50’s and 60’s.

Fan Ho’s photographic career started in Shanghai at the early age of 14 when given his first Kodak Brownie for his birthday from his father. Within the first year he won his first award. In 1949, the family moved to Hong Kong where the young Fan Ho continued pursuing his love for photography. At the age of 18 he acquired his twin lens Rollei whith which he captured all his famous work. 

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

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… As per Mr Ho; ‘I love Hong Kong and I love Hong Kong people’’ 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 20’s and created his biggest body of work before he reached the tender age of 28. His work didn’t 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 Int'l 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.

Links to official pages:

Fan Ho estate website run by Fan Ho’s family/Trust:



Warning: please note that Blue Lotus Gallery is the ONLY gallery/agent authorized by Fan Ho and his estate (Fan Ho Trust) to deal in Fan Ho’s works.   Fan Ho lawfully terminated his previous gallery/agent, Themes+Projects (T+P, sometimes known as Modernbook) in October 2015.  Notwithstanding demands by Fan Ho and the Fan Ho Trust, T+P has refused  to return inventory and pay over proceeds and royalties from sales of prints and books to the estate.  Frustrated by T+P’s actions,  the Fan Ho Trust had no choice but to sue T+P, as well as Mark Pinsukanjana and Bryan Yedinak (the general partners of T+P), earlier this year.  Unfortunately, social media pages such as Artist Facebook Page and the website and related Instagram account are still controlled by T+P, confusing his fans and collectors and perpetuating T+P’s unauthorised sales.  The full complaint can be downloaded and viewed here.  If you have any concerns or require more information, please contact us.


被譽為「一代宗師」的何藩因拍攝五、六十年代的香港而聞名,成為亞洲最受歡迎的街頭攝影師之一。何藩1931 年出生於中國上海。自14歲生日時獲父親所贈 Rolleiflex 雙鏡頭相機開始,便與攝影結下不解之緣,更在第一年便獲得首個獎項。其後他於 1949 年與家人移居香港,繼續追尋攝影夢。



青少年時代到二十八歲前是何藩最為高產的時期。他的作品在當時已獲得廣泛關注,通過參加畫廊比賽贏得近 300 個地區和國際性大獎。他的才華對電影業亦產生了不小的影響。他曾參演多部電影,之後轉作導演直至 65 歲退休。


過往曾到多國大學教授攝影及電影製作。其作品獲眾多私人和公共機構收藏,其中最著名的包括:香港 M+ 博物館、香港文化博物館、法國國家圖書館(Bibliothèque National de France)、舊金山現代藝術博物館(San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)、美國聖巴巴拉藝術博物館(Santa Barbara Museum of Art)、美國克利夫蘭藝術博物館(The Cleveland Museum of Art)。

Selected works by Fan Ho:

Images are displayed for reference only. For availability, please contact us. All rights are reserved by ©  Fan Ho Estate.

Fan Ho, Waterfront 1965

Fan Ho, Controversy, Hong Kong 1955

Fan Ho, Controversy, Hong Kong 1955

Fan Ho, Back to Mother, Hong Kong, 1955
Fan Ho_Children's Paradise.jpg
Fan Ho, Breaking Through
Fan Ho, Balance

Fan Ho, Balance

For information on availability and prices of prints, please contact us.

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by Ann Choi.jpg


Books are available from our online shop.

Book: Fan Ho | Portrait of Hong Kong

a new photo book released in June 2017 

by publisher WE PRESS, HONG KONG 

ISBN: 978-988-14231-2-2 

bilingual, 2nd edition 


264mm (w) x 328mm (h)

Hard Cover Case Binding 

HK$ 780

Add To Cart
Book: Fan Ho | Hong Kong Yesterday

Hardcover: 112 pages

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0977882837

ISBN-13: 978-0977882830


Add To Cart
Book: Fan Ho | The Living Theatre


9.5x11 inches

176 pages

150 duo-tone plates.

ISBN-13: 978-0980104431

Add To Cart
Book: Fan Ho | Hong Kong Memoir

First Edition Book, 128 pages, 101 dual-color plates, 



Add To Cart


The Art of Photography by Ted Forbes on Ho Fan In this video - we're going to look at the work of Fan Ho. Fan Ho was born in Shanghai in 1937. After learning how to develop images using the family bathtub he went on to be one of the most notable street photographers and finest artists China has produced.

Film director Ho Fan, began his career as a photographer, capturing the light and the reality of Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s, a time when the harbour was much larger and the buildings much smaller.

Fan Ho collected by M+

Interview by M+ with Fan Ho can be viewed here.

Fan Ho: Visual Dialogues | Hong Kong through the lens of Fan Ho

13–30 June 2017

Organised by Sothebys with the support of Blue Lotus Gallery and the Fan Ho Estate

'Not many artists can get as many hearts racing as Fan Ho can. The legendary young photographery shook the world with with his dramatic shots of Hong Kong street scenes in the the 1950's. Over 30 works are exhibited and up for sale at Sotheby's, gathering what is one of the most comprehensive retrospectives of the artist. Among vintage works, the public will also be able to see Ho's precious Rolleiflex camera used throughout his lifetime, as well as check out the brand new book. "Fan Ho: Portrait of Hong Kong", published by WE PRESS available for sale at the exhibition' CNN

All images are courtesy of Sothebys.

Fan Ho's camera

Press Received:


2017-6 | SCMP ’Photographer Fan Ho’s never-before-seen Hong Kong images on show in exhibition and new book’

2017-6-1 CNN ‘Mesmerizing vintage photos provide rare glimpse of old Hong Kong’

2016-6 | SCMP: 'Ho Fan, celebrated 1950s Hong Kong street photographer, dies in California'

2016-6 | ARTSY: 'Fan Ho, Iconic Hong Kong Photographer, Dead at 84'

2016-6 | HK Magazine: 'The Final Frame'

2016-6 | HK Commercial Daily

2016-6 | HK Economic Journal

2016-6 | Wen Wei Daily

2016-6 | Sing Tao Daily

2016-6 | Singpao Daily

2016-6 | Oriental Daily

2016-6 | Mingpao Daily

2016-6 | The Standard: 'Local photography icon dies'

2016-6 | Hong Kong Economic Journal

2016-6 | Headline Daily

2016-6 | Apple Daily

2016-6 | DP Review - 'Remembering Ho Fan'

2015-1 | Art and Design (China) - 'Writing Poems with Camera' 

2014-12 | Le Petit Journal - 'DERNIERS JOURS - FAN HO - Chroniqueur d’un Hong Kong hors du temps'

2014-11 | SCMP 48 Hours (HK) - 'The Cartier Bresson of the East is developing old negatives and showing never before seen photo's'

2014-11 | New York International Time - 'Memoir of Old Hong Kong'

2014-11 | Hong Kong Tatler - 'Intimate Glimpses' 

2014-11 | The Independent (UK) - 'Old Hong Kong: Photographer Fan Ho's memoir of the city'

2014-11 | L'Oeil de la Photographie - ‘A Hong Kong Memoir’ by legendary Ho Fan'

2014-11 | Perspective Magazine (Hong Kong) - 'HONG KONG THROUGH THE LENS OF HISTORY'

2014-8 | 20 Mins ES (Spain) -  'El fotógrafo Fan Ho, 'el Cartier-Bresson asiático', revisa a los 83 años su deslumbrante obra'

2014-8 | Guardian (UK) - 'Life and Light'

2014-8 | Guardian (UK) - 'Fan Ho: finding love and light in 1950s Hong Kong – in pictures'

2014-8 | PetaPixel - 'Fan Ho’s Fantastic Black-and-White Street Photographs of 1950s Hong Kong'

2014-1 | Art Illustrated (India) - 'The Tao of Fan Ho'