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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

William Yang: Seeing and Being Seen

This five-month exhibition features more than 250 works by the acclaimed photographer and performance artist, spanning his five-decade career.
By Sarah Ward
April 12, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
April 12, 2021
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Whether you're an avid fan of William Yang, you've heard his name pop up now and then, or you're newly discovering his photography and performance pieces, the Queensland Art Gallery has plenty for you to look at until Sunday, August 22. More than 250 of his works are on display as part of a huge exhibition at the South Bank site. And, it's the first major showcase dedicated to the artist to ever be held at a state gallery.

William Yang: Seeing and Being Seen features pieces from across his five-decade career, with a particular focus on how he has viewed the world through his camera lens. He's snapped celebrities and ordinary folks, roved his eye over subcultures and marginalised groups, and peered at landscapes — so you'll be looking at a plethora of familiar and everyday sights and faces.

As well as Yang's social portraiture, Seeing and Being Seen also includes images that explore his family, his Chinese Australian identity and his childhood growing up in Queensland's north.

Entry is free, and conversations, workshops and tours are part of the program, too. Plus, pop into the QAG lecture theatre if you're onsite on a weekend and you can see four films based on Yang's monologue performances.

William Yang. Australia, 1943–. Cate Blanchett: The star in her dressing room. After Hedda Gabler. Wharf Theatre. Sydney. 2004. Inkjet print on solid substrate Kapaplast. 54 x 80cm. © William Yang. Collection: The artist.

Top image: William Yang. Australia, 1943–. Production still from Sadness, 1999. Director: Tony Ayres. Image courtesy: National Film and Sound Archive, Australia and William Yang.

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