任航—禁忌的挑战 / RenHang—The Taboo challenge
「我的艺术不在于介入中国的政治，是中国政治力入侵了我的艺术。 我拍这些照片，因为不这么做人生会穷极无聊，但我并没有特别的目的。 」任航很小心地指出，他并没有试图将他的艺术政治化。
RenHang—The Taboo challenge
Ren Hang, a famous Chinese cutting-edge photographer, a poet, and also a magazine founder who founded the independent magazine “MOON”.
Ren Hang was born in 1987 in Changchun, Jilin, China, and once lived in Beijing. He is one of the few influential photographers in the history of human body photography in China. His works are all cult films. Ren Hang had been invited to host 22 solo exhibitions, 85 collective exhibitions， published 16 sets of personal photography and a collection of poems. On February 24, 2017, he committed suicide due to depression.
His work pursues misplacing, even mocking human sculptures in stylish bodies. His photographic work creates ridiculous, absurd and weird feeling in order to query the existence and beauty of human beings. For Ren Hang, the body of human is the expression and the exploration of information. He explores sex and freedom, which is a rather unusual topic for Chinese artists, mainly due to the resistance of traditional society.
Ren Hang symbolizes the new generation of post-Mao ZeDong generation, those young people who care less about traditions, tired of life and have no scruples, but eager to touch taboos and express their opinions. Ren Hang is not as political as other Chinese artists, such as Ai WeiWei. Ren Hang explores sex and freedom in the most conservative social context all over the world.
“I do not think my works are about taboos because I do not think too much about cultural contexts or political thinking. I do not aim to push the fence internationally; I just do what I want to do.” Ren Hang explained.
Therefore, his photographic works, those bare bodies are only the expression of freedom – relatively speaking – rather than looking for something exactly or aiming to inspire thinking. In any case, the Chinese authorities do not think so. Therefore, some of the exact contents of Ren’s previous photographic works did not change his visual expression of cultural or political aspects of mankind. Instead, he manipulated it in a more poetic way, rather than a behavioristic way.
His creation is surreal and, at the same time, sensual and sensorial. Nevertheless, Ren Hang realized his creations are considered controversial， simply because nakedness in any form in public is forbidden in China. He was caught on the brink of arrest because of his photographs.
Like many other photographers, Ren Hang was quite fascinated with human skin, bones, body shape, the uniqueness and unity of the human body. In general, all of his works include the color red, such as red nail polish, or red lipstick.
“It is not that my art intervenes in Chinese politics, but that the political power of China invades my art. I take these photos, only because if I do not do that , I will have a boring and meaningless life, but I have no special purpose.” Ren Hang pointed out carefully, he did not attempt to politicize his art.
Due to the political system and the turbulent situation of China that time, the censorship censored the arts strictly. But Ren Hang is more inclined to listen to his own voice, because for him, photography is the only way to escape from being bored and looking for the meaning of life.
Article by Li Wei