REN HANG: STRIPPED TO THE CORE
WED. JUNE 22, 2016WORDS BY CHRISTIANE NICKELPHOTOGRAPHY BY Ren HangSTYLING BY Styling Huang Jiagi
The controversial Chinese photographer defies boundaries of the body in our latest editorial.
Visceral, surreal, grotesque and that’s just for starters. Controversial Beijing-based photographer Ren Hang has been revered for his nudist landscapes that break boundaries and challenge notions of the human anatomy. Stripping down the body to its authentic core and devoid of a sexulaized gaze, the photographer’s extensive body of work has garnered him praise, winning the attention of stalwart’s like Ai Weiwei. So naturally, we were honored to have him shoot the Opening Ceremony Pre-Fall 2016 collection in his stomping grounds of Beijing. Given the nature of Hang’s evocative photography, it only seemed natural we’d call on his uncensored eye and raw vision to shoot the political nature of our Pre-Fall 2016 campaign.
The notorious photographer fits into to the bigger part of our Year of China series. From China to Chinatown(s) we wanted to celebrate every facet of Chinese culture including: designers, photographers, artists, tastemakers and even haute cuisine. Given the controversy and critical acclaim of on Ren Hang, whose provocative work has been banned throughout the country, we absolutely had to work with the notorious photographer. Hang’s predilection for all things political made the perfect match for a collection charged with social progressive sentiments.
Tranquil landscapes set the tone while shimmery lamé knits, pearlescent cami dresses, and tops, lend a sublime sensuality to a sculpted ruffle dress, hardwearing denim jeans, and thigh-high boots. Inspired by the idea that a woman might grace a United States dollar bill, this collection explores one currency that will never devalue in time: female empowerment. (And now more than ever, this sentiment is extremely crucial to the socio-political fabric of today since Harriet Tubman was the chosen icon for the $10 bank note.) Iridescent fabrics mimic the watermarks while colors and textiles draw from banknote designs.
Photography REN HANG | Styling HUANG JIAQI | Production SUI JUN | Hair & Makeup WANG KAI | Hair & Makeup Assistant WANG MEILA | Talent ZHANG YU, WANG YIHUI, & WANG YINUO | Production Assistant MA XIAO'OUSHEN & YILIU JUN | Special Thanks CHIUN KAI SHIH, SUNTCHI BRAND MANAGEMENT CO. LTD., CAROL SONG & DE SARTHE GALLERY