Ren Hang

Belgium, Antwerp Stieglitz19

Ren Hang (1987-2017, China) was an avant-garde photographer based in Beijing. A self- taught photographer, he first began shooting his closest friends, aged 21, whilst studying for a degree in advertising. He quickly became one of the most provocative and uncompromising photographers working in China.

Hang's photographs depict naked bodies as sculpture. Sometimes explicit, sometimes beautiful, often humorous, Hang's works have a snapshot-like feel, and appear playful and spontaneous. They are, however, carefully staged, with the photographer choreographing his models, who are still mostly close friends of the artist. He has stated; I like shooting my friends because they trust me, which makes me feel more relaxed. I can only take my best work when I'm in that state.' Although open to the element of chance, Hang had a clear vision of each image's final composition and asked his subjects to contort and intertwine their bodies to produce unfamiliar angles.