Provocative Chinese Photographer Ren Hang Dead at 30

Chinese photographer and poet, Ren Hang, has died at the age of 30 of suicide. Ren Hang was born in 1987 in Jilin, China. His unique arrangements of nude models, usually his friends, conveyed a casual eroticism that often earned him censure from the Chinese government, including his arrest. Many people from the art world responded with expressions of sorrow for the loss of this talented young photographer and poet, who was only 30 years old.


Ren’s work has been included in group exhibitions worldwide, and has been beloved by fashion magazines. His work was featured on the cover of Aperture magazine in spring 2015, in its queer-themed issue. On January 27, Ren wrote a few words on Weibo which directly indicated his state of mind. “Wish for every year is the same: to die sooner,” he wrote, later adding, “Hope it can be realized this year.”

"Today we mourn the loss of Ren Hang, a talented and rising young photographer who passed away well before his time," Eli Klein of Klein Sun Gallery wrote on Instagram this morning. "@kleinsungallery was honored to host his solo exhibition last year and send our heartfelt condolences to all of his loved ones."