Fan Ho’s touching Portrait of Hong Kong shows a lifetime of love for capturing the region Written by Tora Baker from Creative Boom

This spring, an exhibition at the Blue Lotus Gallery will showcase the last ever body of work by the celebrated and much-loved photographer and film director, Fan Ho.

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Born in Shanghai in 1931, Fan Ho delved into photography at the early age of 14 when he started taking pictures with a Kodak Brownie camera of his Father. Later, at the age of 18, his father bought him a twin lens Rolleiflex camera with which he took all his award-winning photographs.

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In 1949, Fan Ho’s parents moved to Hong Kong where the young Fan Ho continued pursuing his passion for photography, in particular for street photography. Dubbed the ‘Cartier-Bresson of the East’, Fan Ho’s works earned him close to 300 local and international photography awards and titles. His talent was also discovered by the film industry where he started out as an actor before moving into directing until his retirement at age 65.

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During his lifetime, Fan Ho taught photography and film-making at various universities worldwide. His works remain in private and public collections which, most notably, include that of M+ Museum (Hong Kong), Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Bibliothèque National de France, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art (USA) to name but a few.

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In 2015, he selected around 500 old negatives from his own archive which he then cropped in his signature style. After he sadly passed away, it took another year for the project to be completed with the help of his family and Sarah Greene. In this final body of work, the artist wanted to portray Hong Kong as a city with a focus on its people.

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“In 1959, when Fan Ho was 28, he wrote a book called ‘Thoughts on Street Photography’,” explains Sarah Greene. “It was a collection of essays explaining different schools of thought prevailing at that time, different approaches, explanations on how to compose a good photograph and where his own work fits into the spectrum of photography.”

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In the last chapter of that book, he concluded: “My photographs with a strong pictorial aesthetic are still highly favoured among the salons. Documentary style street photography or portraits are rarely selected although they are among my favourites. Maybe one day the opportunity will present itself for me to show this body of work. In the meantime, I will just keep trying.”

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“Portrait of Hong Kong shows a different type of work than what Fan Ho is famous for,” adds Sarah. “It provides a more natural record of a Hong Kong that has long be gone. A sincere wish he had cherished and expressed in his twenties has finally come to be.”

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Portrait of Hong Kong by Fan Ho will take place at Blue Lotus Gallery in Hong Kong from 22 March to 28 April 2019. Discover more at bluelotus-gallery.com.

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More: https://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/fan-hos-touching-portrait-of-hong-kong-shows-a-lifetime-of-love-for-capturing-the-region/

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned: the legend of the bell of Dōjō-ji – British Library Blog

This famous English saying – often misattributed to William Shakespeare, but actually a partially paraphrased quotation from William Congreve – could apply to many tragic tales from all over the world through the centuries. Here we will introduce a famous Japanese story featuring one such jilted woman, associated with the ancient temple of Dōjō-ji 道成寺 in Kii province (modern Wakayama) in Japan.

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More: http://blogs.bl.uk/asian-and-african/2016/09/hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-woman-scorned-the-legend-of-the-bell-of-d%C5%8Dj%C5%8D-ji.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asian-and-african+%28Asia+and+Africa%29

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Human Anatomy as Portrayed in Woodblocks of 19th-Century Kabuki Actors by Allison Meier on hyperallergic.com

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http://japanesewoodblockprints.library.ucsf.edu/

More: http://hyperallergic.com/312158/human-anatomy-as-portrayed-in-woodblocks-of-19th-century-kabuki-actors/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Women%20of%20Abstract%20Expressionism%20Challenges%20the%20Canon%20But%20Is%20Only%20the%20Beginning&utm_content=Women%20of%20Abstract%20Expressionism%20Challenges%20the%20Canon%20But%20Is%20Only%20the%20Beginning+CID_8f0d1ac1b2c4df1b373ba8d599137cf6&utm_source=HyperallergicNewsletter&utm_term=Human%20Anatomy%20as%20Portrayed%20in%20Woodblocks%20of%2019th-Century%20Kabuki%20Actors

The Gazi Scroll of West Bengal

Painted on paper, mounted on cotton, scrolls such as these were used as visual props in storytelling performances in India approximately around 1800 AD.

Handprinted in Murshidabad, this scroll is around 13 meters in length, with 54 frames which narrate the story of Gazi and Manik – two Muslim saints or pirs. 

Patua scroll artists use natural colours borrowed from leaves and fruits to create art work.

More: https://theheritagelab.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/the-gazi-scroll-of-west-bengal/

Exhibition: Monkey Tales: Apes and Monkeys in Asian Art Posted on July 11, 2016 by clarep Exhibition dates: 14 Jun 2016 to 30 Oct 2016, From Eastern Art at the Ashmolean Museum Oxford Blog

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Exhibition dates: 14 Jun 2016 to 30 Oct 2016

Gallery 29 | Admission Free

2016 is the Year of the Monkey according to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. While the lunar calendar and its twelve zodiac animals are distinct to East Asia, images of monkeys feature in the mythology, folklore, art and literature of many cultures around the globe.

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This exhibition, drawn from the Ashmolean’s collections of Asian art, celebrates the Year of the Monkey by showing images of monkeys from across Asia. It includes depictions of monkeys in their natural environment and highlights two of the mythical monkey figures best known outside Asia: the Monkey King of Chinese literature and the Hindu monkey warrior Hanuman.

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Monkeys in the wild

There are many different species of ape and monkey native to the forests and mountains of Asia, ranging from baboons in the Arabian Peninsula to orangutans in the rainforests of Borneo, long-armed gibbons in China and India, and many varieties of macaque across the whole region. They are widely celebrated in poetry and literature and represented in art.

More: http://www.ashmolean.org/ashwpress/easternart/2016/07/11/monkey-tales-apes-and-monkeys-in-asian-art-2/

 

The Sixteen Sacred Lands of Buddhism, San San May, Curator for Burmese, British Library

Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was brought up to become a king, but he left his life of great comfort after encountering the ‘four signs’: an old man, a sick man, a corpse, and an ascetic. After six years of hardship, working to find the right spiritual path, he attained his ‘Great Enlightenment’, and became the Buddha. During the following forty-five years of his mission until he passed into Mahaparinirvana (the state of reaching the end of suffering) at the age of eighty, the Buddha walked widely throughout the northern districts of India, delivering his teachings to thebhikkhus (Buddhist monks) and laity in the places that he visited. The sixteen lands where he spent time during his long ministry can be found illustrated in many Burmese Buddhist cosmology manuscripts.

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Shown below is a depiction of the sixteen sacred lands in a Burmese folding-book paper manuscript. The Buddha is seated in Bhumisparsa mudra (earth-touching posture) on a throne under the Bodhi tree at the centre. Around him are depicted the sixteen lands, with indications of the distances between the centre and each of these regions, varying from one day to two months of travel. The sixteen lands are labelled (clockwise from the top) Mithila, Sankassa, Jetuttara, Takkasila, Savatti, Kosambi, Kalinga, Mudu, Koliya, Kapilavastu, Campa, Varanasi, Rajagaha, Vesali, Pataliputta, and Pava.

More: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/asian-and-african/2016/07/the-sixteen-sacred-lands-of-buddhism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asian-and-african+%28Asia+and+Africa%29

Bangladesh’s Genius Architect Marina Tabassum: An architect in search of roots – inspiring, spiritual & divine – shortlisted for 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture

“… a mosque needs to be inspirational and spiritual enough to generate respect and create a divine feeling, otherwise it loses its purpose.”

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Source: Bangladesh’s Genius Architect Marina Tabassum: An architect in search of roots – inspiring, spiritual & divine – shortlisted for 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Marina's mosque

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Ferozkoh: Renewing the Arts of the Turquoise Mountain July/August 2015, Written by Lee Lawrence Photographs courtesy of Turquoise Mountain Institute

It is difficult to create art in isolation,” says master calligrapher Khwaja Qamaruddin Cheshti. The artist “needs to be surrounded by older art, and maybe he combines his skills with the inspiration he finds in older pieces.”

Cheshti is speaking through a translator from the Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul, Afghanistan. A restored, 19th-century fort in the historic Murad Khane neighborhood, its alcoves topped with delicately pointed arches, it is a fitting backdrop to speak about two weeks he and more than a dozen Afghan artists and craftspeople spent in Doha, Qatar, at the Museum of Islamic Art—or mia—where Cheshti rediscovered this age-old truth.

More: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/July-2015/Ferozkoh-Renewing-the-Arts-of-the-Turquoise-Mount

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