Loading Events
This event has passed.
Research Postgraduate Seminar

Ren Hang’s ‘Abject’ Photography: ‘Queer’ Bodies on the Boundaries of Urban Life

Date: 11 November 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 4:30-6:00pm
Venue: Room 3.16, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Zoom Link: https://hku.zoom.us/j/96670843029?pwd=NHRUeE1ydlZtaEdMRDBpZDNFd1BkUT09
Zoom Meeting ID: 966 7084 3029 | Password: 255140
Speaker: Mankit Lai, MPhil candidate, HKU


Urbanization in China has continued expanding in the 21st century and left imprints upon contemporary photographic practices that feature the transforming cityscapes. Contemporary photography in China, since the mid-1990s, has turned an inward gaze on the changing lifestyles, probing into the affective terrains that take agency from the personal and everyday narratives, rather than just the motifs of demolition, ruins and high-rises. Ren Hang (1987-2017) was a photographer practising snapshot photography that often stages his encounters with counter-cultural urban youths, providing distinctive insights into the notions of affect, intimacy and interrelation. Most of his photographic works depict youthful, naked models idling around urban and rural sites. Ren featured those nude models as straddling both spatial and psychological realms, eliciting inquiries into the intricate interrelations between identities, bodies and the urban society. This seminar argues that Ren’s nude photography brings to the fore intersecting layers of ‘abject’ aesthetics and ‘queer’ identificatory potential. It examines how his works might challenge and destabilize the disciplinary orders, systems of urban life in contemporary Chinese society.

Share this story!