Ren Hang, daring as a source of inspiration
Ren Hang (1987-2017) was born in Changchun, Jilin Province, China. He died at the age of 29. He is considered a controversial figure in Chinese photography today.
Ren Hang boldly questioned the relationship to identity and sexuality. Homosexual artist, particularly influential with Chinese youth, his tone considered subversive or qualified as pornographic, represented vis-à-vis 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 Tian'anmen in 1989).
We can read in his work, always imbued with great poetry but which has already been the subject of censorship several times, the deep discomfort of Chinese youth, as well as the ties that unite them and the mutual trust they have in each other. carry.
Although Ren Hang said his work was not intentionally political, it confronts the repression of sexuality and queer identities in mainstream Chinese culture. Throughout his career, the artist has used an analog camera, photographing his friends rather than models. "I don't try to get a message across, I don't name 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, notably 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 the US Kansas State University Art Museum in Kansas, United States.