William Yang is best known as a photographer of people. My Family in North Queensland displays places William visited around Innisfail, Cairns and Dimbulah, where his family’s history is set, all the time taking photographs.
Born a third–generation Chinese Australian, Yang grew up in Dimbulah on the Atherton Tableland and describes his upbringing as one in which his Chinese ethnicity ‘was suppressed and unacknowledged’. He met a Chinese teacher who encouraged him to embrace his Chinese heritage. As a result of this revelation, he went on a trip, in 1990, to Far North Queensland to talk to his relatives about the murder of his uncle, William Fang Yuen. In 1922 Fang Yuen had been shot by the white manager on one of his cane farms.
The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.