MAMA Gallery is proud to present What We Do Is Secret, Beijing-based artist Ren Hang’s
first solo exhibition with the gallery and his first in Los Angeles. In the face of censorship
and social restraints, Hang intuitively creates moments of uninhibited liberty through nude
human sculpture. Considered one of the most provocative photographers today, Hang’s
work can be considered overtly explicit, emotional, beautiful, funny, and grotesque, all at
the same time. While Hang’s public demeanor understates any political significance in his
work, Hang’s carefully directed images may suggest otherwise. Hang’s perspective of
contemporary youth within China’s climate of economic, cultural and social upheaval
serves as a strong case for freedom of expression under any circumstance.
Perhaps inadvertently, Hang’s subject matter and seemingly simple technique have
transcendent ramifications. His subjects project an irreverence that directly disrupts the
restrictive realm of heteronormativity and presents alternate sexual and aesthetic realities.
The title of Hang’s exhibition, What We Do Is Secret, references the music of punk band
the Germs, which aligns with the provocative spirit of the artist’s images. Antagonism
abounds in Hang’s work with a counterculture-fueled rebellion lying at its core.
Ren Hang was born in Changchun, China in 1987. He currently lives and works in Beijing,
China. His work has been exhibited at international museums including; The Museum of
Contemporary Art, Shanghai; Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing; UCCA, Beijing, He
Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen; Multimedia Art Museum Moscow; China Central
Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Groninger Museum, Netherlands, and Östasiatiska Museet,
Stockholm. His work is included in the permanent collections of institutions such as Kansas
State University Art Museum; CAFA Art Museum, Beijing; Multimedia Art Museum,
Moscow; White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection, Sydney, Australia, and Three
Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing.