William Yang was born in North Queensland in 1942. In 1977, his first solo exhibition, Sydneyphiles, caused a sensation because of its frank depiction of the Sydney gay party scene.  In the mid-eighties, Yang began to explore his Chinese heritage, which had been lost to him by his complete assimilation into the Australian way of life. His photographic themes expanded to include landscapes and the Chinese in Australia as well as his visits to China.