Ren Hang – The New China

Ren Hang

was born in 1987 in China. Ren Hang doesn’t care about what you think about him or his work. Really. His camera is a very cheap camera. He captures his images through automatic film cameras. His first film camera cost him a ¥100,…or $16. He has since graduated to a $29 Minolta X-700. The point is, you can’t use your equipment as an excuse for your limitations.

 

Minilto x-700
© Ren Hang

 

Ren Hang – The New China

He lives in  Beijing, and already has published 11 books, and has exhibited worldwide in both solo and group shows. He’s never been to art school, looks like an accountant and is politically silent,…yet he has already been in jail 3 times for his work. And he’s not yet 30!

 

minolta x-700
© Ren Hang

 

He started shooting in 2008. Hang was studying marketing at the time, but once he picked up that $16 camera, he was hooked and knew what his path in life would be. He often risks jail time by just producing his semi-erotic images. But he insists he just photographs what’s around him. To the dismay of the repressive Chinese government. The weird thing is he’s very apolitical.

 

minolta x-700
© Ren Hang

 

He says he would eventually like to make some money doing fashion, but clothes don’t really excite him. So for now,…art it is. But he does not like being called an “artist”. It may be because of the stigma of how most artists work in China; having apprentices do all the work as they become wealthy.

 

Ren Hang
© Ren Hang

 

No Digital Please

Shunning high-tech digital SLR cameras, he shoots all his work with the $29 Minolta X-700, an automatic SLR camera. His photos feature mostly naked men and women. Mostly friends, who say they’re happy to do it for him. He’s a clean cut, well liked, almost anti-thesis of an “artist”  as perceived in Western culture. However,….considering a Nikon D800 or Canon 5D is about a year’s salary for most Chinese, I wouldn’t be so quick to assume his choices are anything but “practical”. A true artist will use what’s available to them.

 

Ren Hang
© Ren Hang

 

With no training, everything he produces is straight out of his head. But if you think he will expound some deep meaning on every image, it won’t be coming from him. Although most attribute his fame to people trying to interpret his work. However, it’s still love of friends and family that he considers most important. Find Minolta X-700

Addendum: Sadly, Ren Hang has since died.

 

 

 

 

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