Arts / Destination

Ren Hang’s new exhibition in Italy is explicit and poetic

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For the first time in Italy, legendary late Chinese photographer and poet Ren Hang's work and poetry is being exhibited at theĀ Pecci Centre in Prato, Italy. In the 90-piece exhibition titled 'Nudi', the controversial photographers most explicit works will be on display.

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Beijing-based Hang became known during his career for a defiant and almost political (for China) approach to his medium. Often censored in his home country because of its nudity, his photographs were frequently associated with pornography instead of artistic expression - deeming his uncensored works featuring nudity illegal in China. Above all, Hang is known for his exploration of the body, form and sexuality starring his close friends and peers. Hang often blurs the lines between humans and nature, with new-gen Chinese youth as his most common subjects.

 

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A spirit of unflinching rebellion and defiance is apparent throughout his work - given the context of his photographs - and feels only elevated by this continual use of harsh flash on low-budget digital cameras, lending to his exploration of gender, identity, issues of social and economic class and politics. Hang's works have always been provocative and explicit in his display of nakedness with his subjects poses at times alluding to sadomasochism and fetishism. His images always feel like a marrying of soft and hard, poetic and melancholic.

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Now, just three years after the beloved emerging artist passed after losing a lifelong battle with depression and mental health issues, some of his most confronting and evocative works are available to view at Pecci Centre, Prato, Italy. Obviously, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, this will not be one we'll be privy to in person, however, with restrictions easing across Europe, we would imagine the exhibition will still see an adequate turnout. His collection of photographs will be accompanied by a wide selection of his poetry and other writings.

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All imagery via: @renhangrenhang