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.