Ren Hang

Ren Hang was born in 1987 in Changchun, China. He was the only child in the family and all his childhood was immersed in computer games. Thanks to the Internet, Ren absorbed European culture and thus formed his understanding of freedom.
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Later he moved to Beijing, where entered the university at advertisement faculty. Being bored at studies, Ren started photography, taking pictures of his friends. At this time young man realised that he was not at all interested in university studies - photography interested him much more.

So in 2008 Hang began his photography, starting to shoot a naked roommate in a dormitory. Firstly, his models were friends, and then fans who quickly discovered his works. The young man was self-taught and was taking pictures without any purpose, admitting that he was simply shooting what he sees.
Over the time, he gained fame for his staged erotic photographs, whose models were young Chinese actors and fashion models. Often, he invited friends to participate in group photo sessions and even shot his mother in one of his series with a pig's head.

Ren Han considered himself a representative of a new generation that grew up in the time of spread of social networks. He widely published his works on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, as well as on his website. Ren had a lot of admirers among young people, many dreamed of shooting with him. Fans regarded his work as an illustration of the social changes taking place in conservative Chinese society, as a struggle for creative and sexual freedom.

While studying at university, Hang became interested in landscapes. He believed that China is the most beautiful country on earth. Over time, he began to look for a landscape in men, combining bodies with nature, trying to find harmony in this act.
"I believe that people do not need landscapes - they are more concerned about their body. I'm interested in the process of manifestation of sexuality, in this mysterious act. I take erotic pictures for my own pleasure. Now I understand that sexuality is the most natural and attractive thing in the world.."
Ren Hang was one of the most prominent figures in modern Chinese photography, his work was loved by fashion magazines and exhibited in galleries around the world. Hang presented his photography in Italy, France, Israel, Sweden and other countries, he made more than 70 collective and 20 personal exhibitions. Ren Hang published ten books and his exhibitions traveled around the world.

Despite the fact that his work was forbidden in his country, Hang was not planning to leave China. Ren loved to play hide and seek with the China authorities. He was creating a website, publishing his photographs there and when the site was becoming popular (which happened very quickly), the authorities were closing it, founding the author and arresting him. Ren gets out of a prison and opened a new website. And this way countless times.
Photography of Hang is perplexing for many, his work doesn't fit into the classical understanding of beauty and aesthetics. He used human bodies to in a strange way to form geometric compositions in the frame.

Chinese photographer Ren Hang suffered from cyclical depression. Probably it's what killed him. Friends say that Hang was a quiet, kind person, even inconspicuous. His emotional life did not show out; he kept everything inside. And at the age of 29, he ended his life with suicide, believing that he had already tried the best in his life and that it would only get worse. But the work of the photographer inspires a lot of people even after his death..
Author Anna Laza
Instagram of Ren Hang
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