EYE CANDY

Revisit the Late Ren Hang’s Provocative Photographic Legacy

© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and stieglitz19

It was scarcely a decade ago that the Chinese photographer Ren Hang first captivated the art world with his unapologetically nude, sexual, and accordingly subversive photographs—a rare thing to come out of China, which Western art buyers promptly ate up. (Back at home, where Ren was often arrested and prevented from exhibiting his work, it was met with much less enthusiasm.) Ren’s oeuvre has, however, gotten much more exposure as of late, though the reason for that renaissance is tragic: He died two years ago at age 29, prompting an outpouring of homages and remembrances of the late photographer that are still underway today. The latest, a retrospective titled “Love, Ren Hang,” which is on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, pairs excerpts of Ren’s poetry, which frequently touched on his struggle with depression, with some of his lesser known photographs that are true as ever to his sculptural, yet never objectifying style—the best example of which might be an undated, untitled picture that, upon closer inspection, is actually made up of rows of butts shot to resemble undulating hills. Take a look inside the show, here.

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© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and OstLicht Gallery

Ren Hang, Untitled, China, 2015. Featured in the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang,” on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26, 2019.

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© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and OstLicht Gallery

Ren Hang, Untitled. Featured in the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang,” on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26, 2019.

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© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and OstLicht Gallery

Ren Hang, Untitled. Featured in the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang,” on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26, 2019.

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© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and Blindspot Gallery

Ren Hang, Untitled, China, 2015. Featured in the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang,” on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26, 2019.

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© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and Blindspot Gallery

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2011. Featured in the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang,” on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26, 2019.

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© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and stieglitz19

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2016. Featured in the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang,” on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26, 2019.

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© Courtesy of Estate of Ren Hang and Blindspot Gallery

Ren Hang, Untitled, China, 2015. Featured in the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang,” on view at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26, 2019.