A GALLERY has apologised after sparking outrage for displaying an artwork which ranked young women from “prettiest to ugliest”.

The shocking seven-hour video – titled Uglier and Uglier -featured more than 5,000 images of students walking through a university campus.

It was put on show at the OCAT Shanghai gallery and was produced by controversial Chinese artist Song Ta.

The BBC reports those unwittingly shown on the video were ranked according to how attractive he found them.

Following criticism on social media, the gallery issued a statement confirming the exhibit had now been ditched after being branded "misogynistic".

“After receiving criticism, we re-evaluated the content of this artwork and the artist’s explanation, we found it disrespected women, and the way it was shot has copyright infringement issues,” it wrote.

“As a museum that supports diversity, we will take this as a warning, improve our services and treat everyone with empathy.”

However, Song has defended his work even telling the Chinese-language Vice magazine that he had “the right to tell the truth”.

In his introduction to the project, he said he recorded the women as they walked past him.

Then he numbered them according to how attractive he found them – from prettiest to ugliest.

"So if you want to see the campus queen, you have to go to the museum (gallery) as early as possible," he said.

"Otherwise, as dusk comes, it will become a living hell in this place."

In a 2019 interview, Song said he and a team of assistants had digitally sorted the images under titles like "forgivably ugly" and "unforgivably ugly".

He then defended the work saying: "I think I have the right to tell the truth."

Those to have seen the video were outraged that the gallery had displayed the bizarre artwork in the first place.

"It's already 2021, how can you still objectify women so boldly, without any shame?" one said.

"This artwork is not only insulting but infringes on individuals' portrait rights, and these women didn't even know they were being filmed," another pointed out.

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