The beach and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras are two iconic symbols of Sydney, and which I have been photographing for some time.
My heaviest engagement with the beach occurred when I lived at Bondi in the eighties and nineties. It was a healthy lifestyle and I knew someone who was a Tamarama lifesaver.
I picked up with the Mardi Gras in the early eighties through my friendship with Peter Tully whose creative team shaped those early parades. Mardi Gras had its fortieth anniversary this year and it is still vibrant. Today LGBTIQ represents sexual diversity within its own community, and social change in the wider community of Australia. I’ll be showing pictures from the Mardi Gras this year and from Parades past.
Born William Young in North Queensland in 1943, he changed his name to William Yang in 1983. His grandparents migrated from China to Northern Australia in the 1880’s. He worked as a playwright from 1969 to 1974, and since then as a freelance photographer. His first solo exhibition in 1977, Sydneyphiles, caused a sensation because of its frank depiction of the Sydney gay and party scene. Later these photographs became part of a larger exhibition, Sydney Diary, which was published as a book of the same title in 1984. In the mid–eighties, William Yang began to explore his Chinese heritage which had hitherto been lost to him by his complete assimilation into the Australian way of life.
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