In February 2017, Chinese photographer Ren Hang took his own life at age of 29; his death spurred an outpouring of emotion on social networks. Two years later, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris celebrates his work with the exhibition “Love, Ren Hang.” The 150 photographs, gathered from several collections in Europe and China, mainly feature portraits: his friends, his mother, young Chinese people recruited from the Internet. His unique landscapes and nudes are poetic, sometimes tinged with humor, and immediately recognizable as his. Questions about the body, the link between eroticism and nature, and the relationship to identity and sexuality that emerge have often been censored in China, but the artist has been celebrated by young people, for whom he embodied freedom of expression and creation in a repressive political context. Each room of the exhibition is dedicated to a theme: red, Ren’s own mother, acid colors, nature… For the first season of its 2019 program, the MEP also features prints by artists Yoonkkyung Kang and Coco Capitàn, with their respective dreamlike exhibitions “Incandescence” and “Busy Living,” which are on view through the end of May.

Photos: Jean Picon
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