“Ren’s work was shown to me by a friend early in 2014. I was laying around on my air mattress one day. Surfing the web in the afternoon. I received a text saying: “Man you have to check out this guy’s photography, look up Ren Hang.” So right then I created a new tab. Went to Google. Searched Ren Hang and pressed enter. My eyes grew extremely large and I stayed on his site for the remainder of that day…and then everyday for quite some time.
I didn’t start taking photographs until after I saw Ren’s work. I mean sure, I’ve taken a picture or two before here and there, but being a photographer was never a possibility until then. His art seemed so familiar to me. It made me feel very comfortable, like I had finally found someone who understood me. I instantly felt like we shared similar ideas and thoughts even though he clearly originated this style.
That first time I seen his work I thought to myself, “This is the type of photography I could see myself doing if I were a photographer.” Simplistic yet striking. Provocative. Personal. Tricky. Adventurous.
Eventually I decided to give it a shot. Ren’s art made me more attentive to details. It’s the little things that make the bigger picture, you know? Each picture of his holds you for a while, even the simple portraits.
I too hope to achieve the same skill, and although very inspired I would never blatantly copy his work. But because of seeing and studying his work so much, I’m slowly but surely developing my own style.
When I found out the news I was at work. I went to the bathroom and cried. It’s truly surreal. He’ll never come back. He’ll never take another photo again. He’ll never write anymore poetry. This is it. The world felt this loss. And I send his friends and family my deepest condolences.”