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Ren Hang
Ren Hang
Ren Hang
Ren Hang
Ren Hang
Ren Hang
Ren Hang
Ren Hang

Ren Hang

For My Mother

By (author) Ren Hang


Publishing 12th Aug 2024
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    • One of China's most famous late photographers: Ren Hang has gone down in photography's ever expanding history book as one of the most defining image makers of his generation
    • Contemporary portraiture revealing playful compositions of friends and flatmates entirely nude
    • Photographed with a snapshot film camera, Ren Hang's photographs are simple but simultaneously highly intriguing and compelling
    Full Description

    Jet black hair, porcelain skin, bright red lips and fingernails; figures gazing intensely into the camera; young men and women posing acrobatically with bizarre props; animals and plants in the glaring light of the camera’s flash, situated in urban landscapes, private spaces, or in nature, among rice fields, lotus ponds, and cacti — Ren Hang’s photographs are painfully provocative, but also inward looking and dreamily surreal. Ren Hang depicts the human body as an abstract form, often in idiosyncratic arrangements and perspectives, combining iconic images of William Shakespeare’s dying Ophelia in a river; of Leda, daughter of a Greek king, and the Swan; and of female nudes seen from behind using a distinctive visual vocabulary that draws on abstraction, Surrealism, Dada, and both historic and contemporary photography. Ren Hang’s analog photographs use a playful, humorous visual language to relate the feelings, desires, fears, and loneliness of a young generation in China. 

    About the Author

    Ren Hang (任航; 1987 – 2017) was a Chinese photographer and poet. During Ren's incipient career, he was known mostly for nude photographic portraits of his friends. His work is significant for its representation of Chinese sexuality within a heavily censored society. For these erotic undertones, he was arrested by PRC authorities several times. He received the backing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who included Ren in his 2013 Netherlands show, Fuck Off 2 The Sequel, and curated the photographer's 2014 exhibition in Paris, France. Ren's erotic, playful and casual yet provocative expression gained him worldwide fame. Ren was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, Jilin province, in northeastern China. In 2007, in order to relieve the boredom of studying advertising at college, he bought a point-and-shoot camera and began shooting his friends. As a self-taught photographer, he said his style of photography was inspired by the artist Shūji Terayama. Ren suffered from depression. He posted a series of diary entries titled My depression on his blog, recording the fear, anxiety and internal conflicts he experienced. Ren died by suicide on February 24, 2017 in Beijing.

    Stockmans Art Books
    Publish date
    12th Aug 2024
    World excluding Belgium, France, Holland & Luxembourg
    280 mm x 220 mm
    62 Pages
    53 color
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