William Yang, the renowned Australian performance artist, documentary maker and photographer has taken up the prestigious H.C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship for 2007.
In the 1970s William Yang began documenting life in Sydney through his photographs. Since 1989 he has combined his images with words and music, performing monologues with slide projection. One of his most successful pieces, Sadness, wove together the discovery of his Chinese heritage and the rituals of dying and death in early 1990s Sydney.
Other pieces, such as The North, about his childhood in North Queensland, Blood Links, about his relatives scattered around the world, Objects For Meditation, about philosophy, and Shadows, about dispossession and reconciliation, have also toured extensively in Australia and overseas.
During his H.C. Coombs Creative Fellowship, William Yang will digitise his mainly black and white negatives of images taken in Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s and develop these images into the first stage of a performance piece presenting the social history of an artistic community. He will also complete another performance piece called China, about his travels to China since 1989, mentor ANU students and present a series of workshops.
William Yang is being jointly hosted at the ANU by the Research School of Humanities (in the College of Arts and Social Sciences) and by the School of Humanities until May 2007.