Ren HangHardcover, 8.9 x 11.8 in., 4.39 lb, 312 pages
Tribute to Ren Hang
The Chinese photographer’s international and complete career monograph
Why? Because his models, friends, and in his last years, 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 entered his mind at the moment. He denied his intentions were 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 photographed were not just fresh and vivid, but unusually large, making one wonder just where he met his friends.
In the same piece, Hang also stated, “Gender isn’t important when I’m taking pictures, it only matters to me when I’m having sex,” making him a pioneer of gender inclusiveness. Young fans still eagerly flock to his website and Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr accounts. His photographs, all produced on film, have been the subject of over 20 solo and 70 group shows in his brief six-year career, in cities as disparate as Tokyo, Athens, Paris, New York, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Vienna, and yes, even Beijing. He self-published 16 monographs, in tiny print runs, that now sell for up to $ 600. TASCHEN’s Ren Hang is his only international collection, covering his entire career, with well-loved favorites and many never-before-seen photos of men, women, Beijing, and those many, many erections. We take solace remembering Ren’s joy when he first held the book, shared by his long-time partner Jiaqi, featured on the cover.
Chinese photographer Ren Hang (1987–2017) was born in Changchun, Jilin Province, and lived and worked in Beijing. Over his brief six-year career, Hang’s surreal, startling, gender-fluid images gained a huge international following as well as over 20 solo and 70 group shows.
Dian Hanson produced a variety of men’s magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker, and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN’s Sexy Book Editor. Her titles include the “body part” series, The Art of Pin-up, Masterpieces of Fantasy Art, and Ren Hang.
Ren HangHardcover, 22.5 x 30 cm, 1.99 kg, 312 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-6207-2Edition: English, French, German