Ho Fan

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Fan Ho
Born (1931-10-08)October 8, 1931
Died June 19, 2016(2016-06-19) (aged 84)
Nationality Chinese
Occupation Photographer, film director, and actor

Fan Ho (Chinese: 何藩; 8 October 1931[1] – 19 June 2016) was a celebrated Chinese photographer, film director, and actor. He won over 280 awards from international exhibitions and competitions worldwide since 1956 for his photography.[2]

Photographic career[edit]

Fan Ho was born in Shanghai in 1931, but immigrated with his family to Hong Kong at an early age. Ho began photographing at a very young age with a Rolleiflex camera his father gave him. Largely self-taught, his photos display a fascination with urban life, explored alleys, slums, markets and streets, depicting the street vendors and children only a few years younger than himself. He developed his images in the family bathtub and soon had built up a significant body of work, chronicling Hong Kong in the 50s and 60s as it was becoming a major metropolitan centre.

Upon seeing Fan Ho's work for the first time in 2006, gallery owner Laurence Miller commented that "[t]hey felt like direct descendants of the Bauhaus, yet they were made in Hong Kong. They were abstract and humanistic at the same time."[3]

Fan Ho is a Fellow of the Photographic Society of America, the Royal 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.

Film career[edit]

Fan Ho is an accomplished and acclaimed Hong Kong film director and actor.

Ho joined Shaw Brothers in 1961 to develop his career in cinema. He acted in several movies and was an assistant in the movie The Swallow (1961). Ho won praise for his performance as the Monk, Tripitaka, in the lavish Shaw Brothers adaption of Journey to the West cycle of films.

During the early 1960s he also produced a pioneering series of independent short films, the first of which Big City Little Man (大都市 小人物; 1963, 30min) won the "Honor Award Certificate" from the Japan International Film Festival in 1964.[4]

Ho left Shaw Brothers in 1969 to developed his career as a director, making over 20 films with various studios in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He has had three films in the "Official Selection" of the International Film Festivals of Cannes, Berlin and San Francisco; and five of his films have been selected in the "Permanent Collection" of the National Film Archives of Taiwan and Hong Kong. As well as his independent film work he is acclaimed for pioneering the erotic field in cinema, with such cult films as Adventure in Denmark (1973), The Girl with the Long Hair (1975) and the highly successful Temptation Summary (1990).

According to Mark Pinsukanjana, director of Modernbook Gallery in San Francisco, CA, his debut feature Lost from 1969 was Ho's favourite. As Pinsukanjana said describes: "In Lost, one will see the chaotic life of one man in Hong Kong. The film follows him and finds the beauty that surrounds him; he is lost because he never saw it. I think that one can say that this is similar to Fan Ho's photographs in the sense that Hong Kong is crowded, busy and chaotic to many, but for Fan Ho, he was able to convert [what he found] and find beauty."[3]

He had also served on the jury of the Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards Festival and Hong Kong Film Award.


He died in San Jose, California on 19 June, 2016 of pneumonia at the age of 84.[5][6]


All films directed by Fan Ho.

Short films:

  • Big City Little Man / 大都市 小人物 (1963, 30min, Hong Kong)
  • Home Work / 習作之 (1966, 40min, Hong Kong)

Feature films:

  • Lost / (1969, Dir, Hong Kong)
  • 血愛 / Love And Blood (1972, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Wai Diy
  • Adventure In Denmark (1973, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Wai Diy
  • The Miserable Girl (1975, Dir, Hong Kong)
  • The Girl With The Long Hair (1975, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers
  • Body For Sale (1976, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Lo Wei Motion Pictures
  • 戇哥哥/ Go A Little Crazy (1977, Dir, Hong Kong)
  • Innocent Lust (1977, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers
  • Notorious Frameup (1978, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers
  • Hello Sexy Late Homecomers (1978, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Shaw Brothers
  • Expensive Tastes (1982, Dir/Writer, Hong Kong)
  • 台北吾愛/ Two for the road, Taipei my love (1984, Dir/Writer, Taiwan) Prod. comp.
  • Smile Again (1985, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Golden Harvest
  • Yu Pui Tsuen (1986, Dir, Hong Kong)
  • 心鎖 / Desire (1987, Dir, Taiwan)
  • Brief Encounter (1988, Dir, Hong Kong)
  • Erotic Nights (1989, Dir/Writer, Hong Kong)
  • Temptation Summary (1990, Dir, Hong Kong) Prod. comp. Sam Po Film Co


  • The Living Theatre, Ho Fan, 176 pages, April 2009, Modernbook Editions
  • Hong Kong Yesterday, Ho Fan, Ed. John A. Bennette, 112 pages, June 2006, Modernbook Editions
  • 何藩國際大獎攝影全集/Complete collection of Ho Fan's international award-winning photographic art, 台北市 : 歐語, 1982


  1. ^ [The DOB is from the Hong Kong Film Archive online catalog, in other less reliable sources his birth date is given as 1931 and 1932]
  2. ^ "Fan Ho". Modernbook. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Stillness in Motion: The Photographs of Fan Ho". Studio-international.co.uk. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  4. ^ i-Generations, Independent, experimental and alternative creations from the 60s to now, Ed. May Fung, Hong Kong Film Archive, 2001
  5. ^ "攝影界「一代宗師」何藩病逝 享年84歲" (in Chinese). 21 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Photographer Fan Ho Dies at Age 84

External links[edit]