Aug 05, 2014 6:38PM

Gallery & Interview: Ren Hang's NSFW Photography

The notorious Chinese artist, uncensored.
Beijing-based photographer and poet Ren Hang is infamous. His work's been banned in galleries all over China due to its nudity, shadowy depiction of underground youth culture and general provocativeness. It's not your average nude photography though — surreal, gnarly and raw, Ren's images are confronting and beautiful in the most epic way. Having exhibited everywhere from Russia, France, Sweden and the UK, we asked the artist to shoot female chess champion Hou Yifan for Oyster #104 and now, we’re having a quick email chat. 
 
Zac Bayly: How long have you been photographing people naked? 
Ren Hang: I started in 2008. My work is sex. I love sex. I'm not naked when I work. I just want to have sex when I'm naked. I do not want to take photos!
 
Do you ever get an erection while shooting your subjects? 
If there is a beautiful person or people that I like, I'll get an erection. I like this feeling.
 
Have you ever been skinny-dipping?
I'm learning to swim. When I have learned, I will.
 
What is the artistic community like in China? Are there many radical artists like yourself? 
I do not know much about Chinese art. I do not think I'm not a radical artist, but my exhibitions in China are often banned by the Chinese police. There has also been someone who spat on my photo!
 
How many times have you been arrested?
Only once. After that I have to be very careful when taking pictures outdoors.
 
 
Introduction: Jerico Mandybur
Interview: Zac Bayly