Capricious 88 (now Company) is proud to present 2014, the first New York exhibition of Beijing-based photographer Ren Hang. In these new photographs, Hang investigates the complex optics of camouflage, focusing on the ways the human and natural worlds vanish into one another.
In 2014, Hang’s human subjects tessellate into one another and into landscape, creating works that simultaneously image brutality and tenderness, desire and ambivalence. In his diaristic portraiture, Hang complicates the formal properties of the nude by examining natural patterns in how bodies interact: limbs, torsos, and faces double and triple, introducing an element of improvisatory play into his otherwise sculptural compositions.
At the heart of this work lies the question of the camera’s relationship to the representation of the naked human figure, playing with the pornographic and the candid in frank photographs reminiscent of Nan Goldin. Hang photographs those bodies that lie outside of the normative boundaries of gender and sexual identity, an extraordinarily rich but vexed conceptual territory in contemporary China, where state media often prohibits such representations.
In conjunction with 2014, Aperture magazine will launch its latest issue, which includes a cover feature of Hang’s work, at the opening reception on March 6 at Capricious 88.
Ren Hang is a Beijing-based photographer. His work has been exhibited internationally, including the Beijing Photo Biennial, Blindspot Gallery (Hong Kong), Galerie Jane Zhang (Germany), Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, Nicholas and Oriental Museum in Stockholm, and Vasli Souza (Sweden).