Chinese photographer and poet, Ren Hang, has died at the age of 29. His searing images, a carnival of milky limbs and botanical beauty, were celebrated and censored in equal measure.
Hang was arrested several times for his explicit photographs and experienced censorship throughout his career in his home country of China. His pictures were a celebration of brazen exposure told through a language of graphic lines and block coloring. His subjects, always nude, were friends and more recently fans. A self-taught photographer, Hang once said he shoots with “no plans.”
Alexander Öberg, of Galleri Tryffelgrisen, a longtime collaborator of Hang, told TIME: “We are shocked and incredibly sad about Ren’s death. He was such a lovely person. We still cannot believe it is true. We can only speculate about what led him to end his life at the young age of 29.” Öberg added that Hang was a “lovely person and an incredibly creative artist who had so much more to share with the world.” Tryffelgrisen had collaborated with Hang for several years and exhibited him before he became widely known. Öberg added that he always knew Hang as a “kind, humble and somewhat shy person.”