Lee Fook Chee’s Ikonta camera
Lee Fook Chee
Lee Fook Chee
Hedda Morrison
Brian Brake
Brian Brake
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Historical Hong Kong Photographers

Hedda Morrison, Lee Fook Chee and Brian Brake

An exhibition at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center shows Hong Kong during consecutive periods. The images span thirty years of great change: from the postwar recovery in 1946-1947, through the resilience of the 1950s, to the resurgence of the 1960s-1970s.

The photos were taken by three photographers, Hedda Morrison, Lee Fook Chee and Brian Brake. Each had markedly different life backgrounds and photographic objectives.  

Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong photos, like her prior work in China and later images of Southeast Asia, reflected her high regard for ordinary people.

Brian Brake held similar values. But whereas Morrison photographed mostly separate images, Brake created highly crafted, pre-envisioned photo stories.

Lee Fook Chee, as a person and photographer, was far different to Morrison and Brake. Lacking their comfortable origins and their photographic training, he was a poor immigrant to Hong Kong. Lee harnessed his resolve and ability to take photos for selling to tourists who visited Hong Kong.

All three, in their own way, recorded Hong Kong during its modern, crucible decades. Thus, they passed on to our present times the photographic heritage seen in this exhibition.

Text Edward Stokes / Photos Hedda Morrison, Lee Fook Chee and Brian Brake