R.I.P.

A Look at the Controversial Work of Photographer Ren Hang, Who Died Today at 29

From the moment he started taking nude photos of his college friends during breaks from studying advertising, the self-taught, Beijing-based photographer Ren Hang made pushing buttons his specialty—a talent that, until his death today at age 29, also drew him his fair share of censorship, though he claimed never to have been pushing a political message. Instead, with his images of snakes draped over models, whose pale limbs he often captured contorted on concrete roads and hardwood floors, Hang was simply “fill[ing] the emptiness of [his] heart,” as he said in an interview just last week. It’s a style he stayed true to even as he found more and more mainstream success, from a feature in Frank Ocean‘s Boys Don’t Cry zine last year to a new solo exhibition at Foam Museum in Amsterdam, up until mid-March. In remembrance of the photographer, take a look back at his recent work, here.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.

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Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ren Hang.

Ren Hang, “Untitled,” 2015.