Remembering The Great Ren Hang
Renowned photographer Ren Hang was born in Jilin, China, in 1987 and started taking photos in 2008. Hang said he simply “shot what he saw,” which began mostly with photos of his roommate's naked body. Nudity was an important source of inspiration for Hang, who crafted surreal scenes that blended the real with the imaginative and provocative.
His photography was a subject of controversy in China, where pornographic images have been banned since 1949. He was arrested a few times, but despite that he kept pushing the boundaries and mastering his craft. Hang suffered from depression, and documented some of his battle through poetry under the title My Depression. At just 29 years old, he had seven published books - Ren Hang, Republic, Nude and Son And Bitch - and is subject of a Taschen retrospective. Like his idol Ai Weiwei, Hang was controversial in China and popular in the rest of the world.
Hang took his life this February 23. He was leading the artists’ battle for creative freedom in China, and will forever be remembered as a raw, genuine, inspiring artist.