Ren Hang didn’t have a lot to say about himself. In the fine art environment, where emphasizing one’s own importance (or having representation to do so, while you maintain the air of expensive mystery) is the norm, this resistance to pretense could be considered a form of madness. But this didn’t stopped the twenty-seven-year-old photographer, who gained international recognition by aiming his camera up the skirt of Chinese culture, and deeper, into its heart.
Ren Hang (Chinese: 任航; March 30, 1987 – February 24, 2017) was a Chinese photographer and poet. He was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, Jilin province, in northeastern China.
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.