REN HANG. Ed. by Dian Hanson. Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH, Cologne, 2016. 312 pp. with 280 col. ills. 31 x 23 cm. ISBN 9783836562072 Multilingual in English, Chinese, German and French.
Publisher's description: Ren Hang is an unlikely rebel. Slight of build, shy by nature, prone to fits of depression, the 28-year-old Beijing photographer is nonetheless at the forefront of Chinese artists' battle for creative freedom. Like his champion Ai Weiwei, Ren is controversial in his homeland and wildly popular in the rest of the world. He says, "I don't really view my work as taboo, because I don't think so much in cultural context, or political context. I don't intentionally push boundaries, I just do what I do." Why? Because his models, friends, and increasingly, fans, are naked, often outdoors, high in the trees or on the terrifyingly vertiginous rooftops of Beijing, stacked like building blocks, heads wrapped in octopi, body cavities sprouting phone cords and flowers, whatever enters his mind at the moment. He denies his intentions are sexual, and there is a clean detachment about even his most extreme images: the urine, the insertions, the many, many erections. In a 2013 interview VICE magazine asked, "there are a lot of dicks ... do you just like dicks?" Ren responded, "It's not just dicks I'm interested in, I like to portray every organ in a fresh, vivid and emotional way." True though that may be, the penises Ren photographs are not just fresh and vivid, but unusually large, making one wonder just where he meets his friends.
Indexing: Western, Non-Western in a Western Style, Asia (Western Style) — China — Post-2000 — Photography
Worldwide Number: 174947