Fan Ho

Tonight, I got a ride back "home".

As I first walked into Modern Book gallery in Palo Alto, I was immediately drawn by the hall of vintage photographs which depicted scenes of history I felt deeply connected with. Almost immediately did I realize that these profound images were captured in Hong Kong, my hometown, beyond my life over 50 years ago.

Fan Ho, an international award-winning photographer whose images utterly blow me away.

Ho reminds me of my dad-- the two being born in the same era and have the same last name.
As I grew up my dad had shared with me repeatedly his childhood experiences he had little control of during the late 30s early 40s. He went though immense hardships and sufferings as a child, resulting from the invasion of Japanese to mainland China during the WWII. His childhood was in large about making escape plans after stealing food from farms and being kidnapped by the Japanese troops. Day after day he stumbled over dead bodies to get out of his home to look for food for his family. Under the work of miracles, his family was saved and landed in Hong Kong. By the time the war was over, people 's priority were looking for stability in life and would not let go of it for anything else. Life was practical, and needed to be so. At age 18, my dad found a job in a bank.

At age 18, Fan Ho came to Hong Kong, and his work began.
As I looked at Ho's work in great detail, I was deeply mesmerized by his ability to capture true candid moments of my people living on their tough lives. Kids at play on stairway barefoot , toilers sweating in the sun, old men carrying loads of junk in cart, fishermen going out to sea. In my boundless imagination, my dad's teen years were close to what Ho depicted in his work. What truly amazed me was that Ho was able to capture all these timeless images in his time when his world was just beginning to wake up from much dreadful horror, when people's minds were still recovering and had little room to appreciate some fine arts called photography.
Here are some of his stunning images featured in his new book titled "The Living Theatre".

More info at the Modern Book website:

As I watched Ho from a distance and eventually went up to chat with him and got his autograph, I realized how humble and kind he is at his age where ambition is not what draws him, but passion and the determination to set himself apart from the rest of the world.
(My friend Christine and I)
Tonight, I felt like a baby so longing to grow up. What can I do now so that I can be proud of myself 50 years later? And, what if I don't really have 50 years ahead of me?