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HKFP Lens: ‘Hong Kong the way it was’ – F11 Foto Museum presents colonial images from Ed van der Elsken

F11 Foto Museum is celebrating its fifth birthday with “Hong Kong the way it was” – a collection of over 130 historic photos taken in 1959 and 1960 by Ed van der Elsken, one of the most influential Dutch photographers of the 20th century.
Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Van der Elsken described old Hong Kong as the “prettiest of harbour cities” during his three-week-stay while on a 13-month round-the-world trip.
Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Van der Elsken reportedly said when revisiting the images in 1989 that “[Y]ou will see… [it is] not only the architecture that has changed, but a whole way of life, a tempo of life.”
Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

The exhibition by F11 Foto Museum is the first time the series will be shown in its entirety.
Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Van der Elsken was born in Amsterdam in 1925. His first book “Love on the Left Bank” was published in 1956. His work can be found in major public and private collections throughout the world including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris; the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He died in 1990 after being diagnosed with a terminal illness in 1988.
Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

F11 Foto Museum exhibition will be on display until next February 28 at 11 Yuk Sau Street in Happy Valley.
Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

Hong Kong colonial 1959 1960

Photo: Ed van der Elsken/F11 Foto Museum.

More information on the exhibition can be found on F11 Foto Museum’s website or on Facebook.


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HKFP Lens: 'Hong Kong the way it was' - F11 Foto Museum presents colonial images from Ed van der Elsken