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Ren Hang’s Provocative Photographs Show a China We Rarely See

来源:纽约时报    2019-03-06 05:10

        PARIS — When Ren Hang’s nude photographs first went on display in China barely a decade ago, he was immediately identified as an artistic phenomenon and rapidly swept up by Western art galleries. His images were playful and provocative, visually stunning with an underlying sense of vulnerability, sometimes bordering on pornography, but never vulgar. They offered a glimpse into a Chinese youth subculture outsiders rarely got to see.        巴黎——十年前,任航拍摄的裸体艺术照片首次在中国展出后,立即被视为一种艺术现象,迅速被西方画廊收购一空。他拍摄的照片谐趣而挑衅,在视觉上极具震撼力,带有一种潜在的脆弱感,有时近乎色情,但从不低俗。它们让我们得以一窥很少为外人所见的中国青年亚文化圈。
        Mr. Ren’s career was meteoric, and tragically brief. He took his own life in 2017 at age 29, leaving behind a body of work that is highly personal: There is no mistaking a Ren Hang photograph.        不幸的是,任航的职业生涯如流星划过夜空般短暂。2017年,29岁的任航结束了自己的生命,留下了大量极具个人风格的作品:没有人会错把任航的照片和他人的作品混淆。
        A retrospective of Mr. Ren’s work is on show in at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris through May 26. It is one of the first shows curated by the museum’s new director, Simon Baker, who was formerly the curator of photography at the Tate galleries in Britain.        任航的作品回顾展将在巴黎的欧洲摄影之家(Maison Europeenne de la Photographie)举行,持续到5月26日。这是该博物馆新任馆长西蒙·贝克(Simon Baker)策划的首批展览之一,他曾是英国泰特美术馆(Tate)的摄影策展人。
        Mr. Baker picked out some highlights of the show. Here are edited excerpts from his explanations.        贝克选出了展览的一些亮点。以下是他的阐释,经过编辑和删节。
        Ren Han’s work can be seen as performance art or physical sculpture, but to me, it is freedom of expression, provocation without offense. It is not radical in the sense of Ai Wei Wei’s work, but definitely nonconformist.        任航的作品可以被视为行为艺术或人体雕塑,但对我来说,它是一种表达的自由,是不带有冒犯色彩的挑衅。它不像艾未未的作品那样激进,但绝对不墨守成规。
        These people are playing in order to be themselves instead of the stereotypical Chinese citizen. It’s really quite naughty disobedience, and about getting the picture before the police shows up. Who knows whether they would have been arrested or just told off and sent home?        这些人这样玩是为了做他们自己,而不是去符合中国人的俗套。这真是一种非常淘气的不服从,重要的是,要在警察出现之前拍下照片。他们是会遭到逮捕,还是只会遭到一番斥责,然后被遣送回家,谁知道呢?
        I read this image as quite sexual, quite provocative. I like the cross and the red fingernails. His models have got just a little bit of red nail varnish, a little bit of red lipstick, then it is just the color of their skin and of their hair.        我认为这张照片很性感,很挑逗。我喜欢十字的形状和红色的指甲。他的模特只涂了一点点红色指甲油,一点点红色唇膏,然后就只有她们的皮肤和头发的颜色。
        There is a tendency to see Chinese contemporary art as heavily influenced by the West. But Ren Hang represents the influence of a Chinese artist on young Western photographers. He was very interested in Araki, the Japanese artist, and you might see some Guy Bourdin in his work. But what you see in his pictures is primarily Chinese.        人们倾向于认为中国当代艺术深受西方的影响。但任航代表了中国艺术家对西方年轻摄影师的影响。他对日本艺术家荒木(Araki)很感兴趣,你也可以在他的作品中看到盖·伯丁(Guy Bourdin)的影响。但是你在他的照片里看到的主要是中国人。
        Ren Hang was gay. Being “out” in China is complicated, and neither his family nor people in China really understood what he was doing.        任航是同性恋。在中国,“出柜”是件复杂的事,他在中国的家人和亲友都不理解他在做什么。
        He made a lot of his work in his apartment and in the parks in Beijing. He’d shoot friends, but also do online calls on WeChat [a Chinese social media platform], and people would just show up, take off their clothes and he would start to pose them.        他的很多作品都是在北京的公寓和公园里完成的。他给朋友拍摄照片,但也会在微信上(一个中国社交媒体平台)在线召集模特,人们会来找他,他们脱掉衣服,他就给他们摆姿势。
        Everything is very simple, very homemade-looking, improvised and natural. His influence is huge on young artists interested in performance in photography and in sexuality.        一切都很简单,看起来像是家庭作坊,即兴而自然。许多对摄影和性感兴趣的年轻艺术家深受他的影响。
        One can only imagine how they did this picture, with models leaning over from chairs or ladders, or being held upside down.        人们只能想象他们是怎样拍摄这张照片的,模特们靠在椅子或梯子上,或者摆成倒立的姿势。
        I think it will be a very joyful show. We've called it “Love, Ren Hang.” Two of his books with pictures he shot in Europe are called “Athens Love” and “Vienna Love.”        我想这这会是一场非常欢快的展览。我们给它起名为“爱,任航”(Love, Ren Hang)。他在欧洲拍摄的两本影集名为《雅典之爱》(Athens Love)和《维也纳之爱》(Vienna Love)。
        This is clearly a very fleeting moment. Somebody presumably threw the butterflies toward the model, who somehow managed to remain completely calm and maintain his vibe.        这显然是一个转瞬即逝的时刻。大概是有人把蝴蝶扔向了模特,而模特却设法彻底保持冷静,维持了自己的仪态。
        Ren Hang is often presented as a kind of pornographic artist — and in truth, there are images in his oeuvre that are quite tough. But there are also many images that are strikingly beautiful, elegant and carefully composed.        任航经常被当做色情艺术家——事实上,在他的所有作品中,有些图片相当粗暴。但也有许多图像极为美丽、优雅,是精心构思而成。
        This image is amazing, yet such a simple idea. The beautiful blue sky is probably just the patch of white wall in his apartment, flared with the flash. And it was almost certainly shot on the minimum-possible-sized double bed: in a tiny room, in a tiny apartment with no light. This is the mark of a truly amazing artist, when you can transform the everyday into something very beautiful. It is alchemy.        这张照片很神奇,但想法很简单。美丽的蓝天可能只是他公寓里被闪光灯照亮的一小块白墙。几乎可以肯定,这张照片是在一个没有灯光的小公寓里,一个小房间里,一张要多小有多小的双人床上拍摄的。这是真正了不起的艺术家的标志,你可以把日常生活变成非常美丽的东西。这是一种炼金术。
        It is easy to project on Ren Hang that he was a sort of freedom fighter, but his work is more about personal freedom, like Surrealism, where you find freedom by going inside and not conforming, rather than protesting in a militant way.        人们很容易把任航描绘成某种自由斗士,但他的作品更多是关于个人自由,就像超现实主义,你通过深入内部、不守成规来找到自由,而不是以好斗的方式去抗议。
        When Ren Hang passed away, it provoked a huge outpouring of emotion online. He wrote a lot of poems, some very explicit, and many about depression and death. They are incredible, very short, like haikus, each one an image made very perfectly and economically.        任航去世的消息在网上引起了巨大轰动。他写了很多诗,有些是露骨的性爱描写,还有很多是关于抑郁和死亡。它们非常美妙、非常短,就像俳句一样,每首诗都塑造出异常完美和简练的意向。
        The show will also include a very beautiful series of photos of his mother. She is still very much in mourning.        展览还将包括一系列他为母亲拍摄的照片,非常美丽。目前她依然沉浸在悲痛之中。
        This will be our poster on the outside of the museum. It is a stunning image: really incredible, very simple and haunting because the sense of color is so amazing. It became like a kind of cult image, and many people have had it tattooed on them.        这张照片将作为我们博物馆外面的海报。这是一张令人惊叹的照片:真的非常美妙,非常简单,令人难忘,因为它的色彩感非常惊人。它变成了一种狂热崇拜的象征,很多人把它纹在身上。
        Ren Hang shot commercial work for magazines. Barriers have fallen between fashion photography, contemporary art and fine art photography. He had something the fashion world is always after: a look, a signature.        任航也为杂志拍摄商业作品。在他身上,时尚摄影、当代艺术和美术摄影之间的藩篱已经消失。他拥有时尚界一直追求的东西:一种造型,一个标志。

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