Fan Ho was born in Shanghai in 1937, 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 center.
Entering his pictures in a local photography contest, Ho was astonished when he was awarded the grand prize — a windfall that encouraged him to continue further exploring photography (and later, filmmaking) as his life’s calling. At last count — some 60 years after winning the contest— Ho has now won more than 280 awards, produced 20 feature length films and published numerous books of original photography. Currently he lives in California and is grandly represented by Modernbook Gallery.
(Photos by Fan Ho / Courtesy Modernbook Gallery, via TIME)