Don Hong-Oai was a San Francisco-based Chinese photographer who created beautiful images that resembled traditional Chinese paintings.
The photographs of Don Hong-Oai are made in a unique style of photography, which can be considered Asian pictorialism. This method of adapting a Western art for Eastern purposes probably originated in the 1940s in Hong Kong. One of its best known practitioners was the great master Long Chin-San (who died in the 1990s at the age of 104) with whom Don Hong-Oai studied. With the delicate beauty and traditional motifs of Chinese painting (birds, boats, mountains, etc.) in mind, photographers of this 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 use this technique, and was also arguably the best.
Image credits: Photographs by Don Hong-Oai/Gallery 71 and used with permission