Don Hong-Oai was born in Canton, China, but he spent the first 50 years of his life living in Saigon, Vietnam, where he apprenticed at a photography studio. Working under the great master Long Chin-San, Don developed a style that was considered “Asian pictorialism” — rather than focusing on presenting reality, he created images that channeled traditional motifs of Chinese painting, and often involved the use of more than one negative to create the finished product. In 1979, Don fled by boat to San Francisco, where he set up shop in a darkroom in Chinatown, and every few years he would venture back to China in order to make new negatives. Click through to see some of the stunning images that resulted from his travels, which we spotted thanks to the sharp-eyed editors over at Feature Shoot.
Photo credit: Don Hong-Oai, courtesy of Gallery 71