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William Yang: Gay Sydney A Memoir

MELT Talks

Presented by Brisbane Powerhouse

Join us for a special evening with acclaimed artist and social commentator, William Yang, on the final day of MELT 2019.

Born and raised in Queensland, Yang is one of Australia’s greatest storytellers, a prolific photographer and a performer of monologues with stunning slide projections.

The audience will be taken on a personal journey exploring William’s involvement in the gay movement in Sydney.

Through his camera lens and words, explore the heady and turbulent scenes of Sydney in the 1970s, the AIDS pandemic in the early nineties, the history of the Mardi Gras since 1978 and the recent marriage equality struggle.

William Yang performs and exhibits extensively both nationally and internationally and is widely acclaimed as Australia’s leading social photographer. Working as a freelance photographer in the 70s and 80s Yang documented Sydney’s social life which included the glamorous, celebrity set and the hedonistic, sub-cultural, gay community.

More Info

William Yang:
William Yang is one of Australia’s greatest storytellers. A prolific photographer, and performer of monologues with slide projections, his stories describe the experience of coming to terms with his identity as a gay Chinese Australian. His work presents a rich and celebratory visual record of this journey, from the world of sexual expression during the emergence of Sydney’s gay community to his personal Chinese heritage and family relationships. Often inscribed with a handwritten commentary or anecdote, a hallmark of Yang’s works, his visual stories are infused with a gently wry tone, mixing self-deprecating humour with insightful reflections on cultural identity.

William Yang was born in 1943 in North Queensland. His first solo exhibition, Sydneyphiles, was held in 1977 at the Australian Centre for Photography. Since then he has exhibited extensively across Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, including in Public Image, Private Lives: Family, Friends and Self in Photography, Art Gallery of South Australia (2016); Remain in Light, MCA Australia touring exhibition (2014-2015); 13th Dong Gang International Photo Festival, Korea (2014); The China Project, Gallery of Modern Art, QLD (2009); Claiming China, Australian Centre for Photography and Monash Gallery of Art (2008); Yin-Yang: China in Australia, S.H.Ervin Gallery (2008); and the major retrospective exhibition Diaries, New South Wales State Library (1998).

His work has won numerous awards and accolades, and is held in the collections of Wollongong City Council, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, National Portrait Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery, State Library of New South Wales and National Library of Australia.


About the Venue

Common Questions

How do I get to Brisbane Powerhouse?
See our Getting Here page.

Is parking available?
There is limited free-of-charge, all-day, on-site car parking at Brisbane Powerhouse. If you are travelling by car, please arrive early to secure a park. Additional free parking is available in New Farm Park accessible via our link road, which is opened after 5pm on performance days.

What time should I arrive?
It's best to arrive at least 30-40 minutes before the show start time to find a car park, pick up your tickets at box office and make your way to the venue. The doors of the venue will open approximately 10-15 minutes prior to show time.

Where do I pick up my tickets?
Tickets will be available for pick up from Box Office 60 minutes prior to show time.

Is there food and drink available

Brisbane Powerhouse has two on-site restaurants. More information can be found on our Eat + Drink page.

See more common questions and learn everything you need to know about your visit to Brisbane Powerhouse on our FAQ page.

Get the most out of your visit

See an exhibition
See the world for free with awe-inspiring visual art from just about everywhere. Make sure you don’t miss anything – explore all of the foyers on the main and bottom floors. See what's on.

Explore New Farm Park
Brisbane Powerhouse is located next to the beautiful New Farm Park, one of Brisbane’s most popular and much loved recreational facilities. Pack a picnic, smell the roses in the garden, play a game of tennis, let the kids loose in the playground, enjoy a coffee, or just sit back and take in the sunshine.

Brisbane Powerhouse recommends The JohnsonTryp Hotel, and The Fantauzzo.