Accompanying a Queensland Art Gallery ¦ Gallery of Modern Art exhibition of the same name, William Yang: Seeing and Being Seen explores photographer and performer William Yang’s five decades of prolific art practice. This is the first major survey exhibition and publication on the artist by a state gallery. Featuring reproductions of over 200 photographs, it traces Yang’s career from his heady early days as a social photographer in the 1970s documenting Sydney’s queer scene through to some of his well-known series addressing family ties, sexual and cultural identity, and the Australian landscape. Developed in collaboration with the artist, the publication also examines the artist’s deep connections to Queensland, including his mid-career explorations of growing up in the far north of the state.
Several insightful essays that delve into the public and private realms of the artist complement Yang’s highly personal and engaging imagery. QAGOMA curator Rosie Hays provides an overview of the artist’s highly regarded career; writer and broadcaster Benjamin Law gives an account of his own experiences growing up as a gay, Chinese Australian; and Professor Susan Best discusses the artist’s engagement with shame – and his refusal to accept it – in both personal and public histories.
This must-have publication for devotees of photography celebrates William Yang’s invaluable contribution to Australian art and our rich traditions of storytelling.