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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Self Portrait with Light Meter

1987/2007
William Yang

inkjet print, white ink on paper, edition 1/20 (image: 39.0 cm x 24.0 cm, frame: 54.5 cm x 41.0 cm)

William Yang is a pre-eminent Australian photographer known for an intensely sustained body of work that examines issues of cultural and sexual identity, and which unflinchingly documents the lives of his friends and community and his own lived experience with curiosity, sensitivity and humour. He is known in particular for his documentation of the Sydney LGBTIQ+ community from the 1970s onwards, including the evolution of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, and for photographic series engaging with the impact of HIV/AIDS, his sense of identity as a Chinese-Australian, and his family history and relationships. Self portrait with light meter alludes to Yang's role as a fly-on-the-wall social photographer and unofficial archivist of the Sydney club and party scene during the 1970s and early 1980s. More specifically, however, it signifies the emergence of an important, independent aspect of his art practice: the translation of his many photographs into autobiographical slideshows and spoken word performance works.

Purchased 2022
© William Yang

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

William Yang (age 44 in 1987)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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