Ren Hang (1987-2017) was born in Changchun, Jilin Province, China. He died at the age of 29. He is considered today as a controversial figure in Chinese photography.
Ren Hang boldly questioned the relationship to identity and sexuality. Homosexual artist, particularly influential among Chinese youth, his tone considered subversive or qualified as pornographic, represented, in a repressive political context, the expression of a desire for creative freedom, freshness and recklessness. His unique vision referred to “cynical realism” (a Chinese artistic movement born out of the events of Tiananmen in 1989).
One can read in his work, always imbued with great poetry but which has already been censored several times, the deep uneasiness of Chinese youth, as well as the ties that unite them and the mutual trust they have in each other.
Although Ren Hang said his work was not intentionally political, it confronts the repression of queer sexuality and identities in mainstream Chinese culture. Throughout his career, the artist used an analog camera, photographing his friends rather than models. “I don't try to convey a message, I don't give the name of my works, I don't date them. I don't want to instill vocabulary in them. I don't like to explain my photos or the work as a whole. "
Ren Hang has made numerous solo and group exhibitions, he recently (2019) benefited from a retrospective of his work at the Maison Européenne de la Photography (MEP), Paris. The artist is present in important public collections, including the White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection in Sydney, Australia, the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow, Russia, the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, China and US Kansas State University Art Museum in Kansas, United States.
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SOLO & GROUP SHOW
(SÉLECTION D'EXPOSITION SUR SES 3 DERNIÈRES ANNÉES)
New Love, Matchbaco Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Morphologie, HDM Gallery, Hangzhou, China
Occupy Atopos, Atopos cvc, Athènes, Greece
Ren Hang solo show, Atelier 72 Gallery, Marseille, France
In Presence of Ren Hang, Stieglitz 19 Gallery, Antwerp, Belgique
Ren Hang solo show, OstLicht Gallery, Vienne, Autriche
Ren Hang 2014, Capricious 88 Gallery, New York, USA
My Mum, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, Chine
In Addition to sleep, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Copenhagen, Danemark
In Addition to sleep, Vasli Souza gallery, Malmo, Suède
La Chine à nue, Nue Galerie, Pantin, France
Artvilnius ’14 International Contemporary Art Fair, Congress center in Vilnius, Lituanie
Faceless, Stichting Mediamatic, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pulse, Galerie Jane Zhang, Frankfurt, Allemagne
Fuck Off 2, Chinese Contemporary Art Document, Groninger Museum, Pays-Bas
Fuck Taboo, Camera16 Gallery, Milan, Italie
Remote Places, Close Spaces, Street Level Photoworks Gallery, Ecosse, Royaume-Uni
True Panic- Photography Exhibition, Bowl Island Gallery, Beijing, Chine
US Kansas State University Art Museum, Kansas, USA
CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China
Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia
ThreeShadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, China
White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection, Sydney, Australia
Widewalls, 2017: https://www.widewalls.ch/artists/ren-hang
British Journal of Photography, 2017: https://www.bjp-online.com/2017/02/ren-hang-leading-chinese-photographer-has-died-aged-29/
Aperture, 2017: https://aperture.org/blog/remembering-ren-hang/
Artsper Magazine, 2017: https://blog.artsper.com/fr/la-minute-arty/ren-hang-le-jeune-prodige-de-la-photographie/