ren hang's nsfw new show features beautiful nudes shot in athens

After shooting friends nude in the bone-chilling cold of Central Park, Chinese photographer Ren Hang captured playful images in sunny Greece for a new exhibition and book, 'Athens Love.'

|
Mar 21 2016, 6:25pm

Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery, (c) Ren Hang

Chinese photographer Ren Hang crafts playful, surrealist, and definitely NSFW images documenting his friends and collaborators in their birthday suits. Often, the Beijing-based artist is unable to create or show his work in his homeland; his website and social media profiles have been routinely shut down, and one of his gallery exhibitions was barred by local governments for mere "suspicion of sex." Last winter, this censorship brought Ren to New York City, where he shot friends in their skivvies in the middle of snowy Central Park for his most recent photobook, New Love. Ren's newest series, Athens Love, is set in slightly warmer climes -- the sun and sea of Greece.

During an artist residency in Athens and Attica in April 2015, Ren -- whose work you might recognize from the inaugural iteration of Alessandro Michele's ongoing #GucciGram project -- set his signature plays between nudity and nature among Grecian flower fields, cactus patches, and tidal rock pools. It's a stark contrast between the skyscraper scenes comprising New Love, and his subjects seem more uninhibited outside of the city setting. When we spoke in July about his travels to New York, Ren still felt the pressures of surveillance and taboo across cultures: "To me, [the issue of censorship is] almost the same [in both places]. Because when I was taking photos at Central Park, I was still worried that cops might show up and stop me."

And yet, Ren is returning to New York to stage two Athens Love events this week: he'll be opening a solo show at Klein Sun Gallery on March 24, followed by a signing at Dashwood Books on March 25.

Credits


Text Emily Manning
Courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery, (c) Ren Hang