The exhibition “LOVE, REN HANG” presents for the first time in France the work of one of the most influential Chinese artists of his generation.
With a selection of 150 photographs from several collections in Europe and China, the exhibition “LOVE, REN HANG” occupies all the spaces on the second floor of the MEP.
Composed mainly of portraits – of friends, his mother or young Chinese solicited on the internet – but also of landscapes and nudes, the work of Ren Hang is immediately recognizable. His photographs, if they seem to stage his subjects, are nevertheless the fruit of an instinctive process. Their shooting, on the spot, gives them lightness, poetry and humor.
Through a chromatic approach, the exhibition offers a dive into the different dreamlike constellations of the artist: the presence of red, acid colors, a room devoted to his mother, another, darker, dedicated to shooting night. Finally, a last room brings together his “daring” works on the body, creating a strong and organic link between eroticism and nature.
Ren Hang boldly questioned the relationship between identity and sexuality. Homosexual artist, particularly influential with the Chinese youth, his tone considered subversive or qualified pornographic, represented vis-à-vis a repressive political context, the expression of a desire for freedom of creation, freshness and carefree . His vision, unique, referred to “cynical realism” (Chinese artistic movement born of the events of Tian’anmen in 1989).
Presented in relation to this important photographic corpus, many of Ren Hang’s writings, which he regularly shared on his website, bear witness to his fight against depression. “If life is a bottomless abyss, when I jump, the endless fall will also be a way of flying.” The artist died in 2017, at the age of 29. It had been exhibited in numerous galleries around the world, and was regularly published in fashion magazines such as Purple and Numero.