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PICTORIAL ART OF DON HONG-OAI
Don Hong-Oai - born in Canton, China in 1929 - spent most of his life in Saigon, Vietnam. In 1979, moved to San Francisco where he had a small darkroom to create his photographs. While living the US he returned to China every few years to make new negatives.
This method of adapting a Western art for Eastern purposes probably originated in the 1940s in Hong Kong. With the delicate beauty and traditional motifs of Chinese painting (birds, boats, mountains, etc.) in mind, photographers of the “Asian Pictorialism” school used more than one negative to create a beautiful picture, often using visual allegories. Realism was not a goal.
Hong-Oai was one of the last photographers to work in this manner. He is also arguably the best.