Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Australian Chinese


Photographs and performances
presented in collaboration with Rumble Productions


An exhibition of photographic works by Australian artist William Yang. Yang has been actively producing work since the early 1970s, and in addition to his photographic practice, Yang has also developed a theatrical method combining slide projections with monologues that have explored the intersection of his childhood memories with his understanding of homophobia and racism.

In Australian-Chinese Yang continues his exploration of his family’s history, by creating an archive using photographs, sketches and personal narratives. Yang is interested in using the personal act of archiving as a potential critique of the systematic racism that institutional archiving denied in accessing immigrant histories.

“I grew up not wanting to be Chinese, partly from absorbing anti Chinese feelings from society at large, (although the messages I got were mixed: some approval and some disapproval), and partly because my mother wanted me to assimilate into the Australian culture. She thought being Chinese was a complete liability, a useless thing. So I’ve grown up denying I was Chinese, with a sense of shame quite close to the surface.”

Yang’s work has been exhibited extensively in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. He has received numerous awards for both his photographic and performance works, including the Brisbane International Film Festival, the Melbourne Film Festival, and the Australian Film Industry.