Installation view of Ying Ang’s <em>The Quickening</em> series 2019-22 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023. Image: Sean Fennessy

Ying Ang

Ying Ang
(b.1980, Singapore. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Ying Ang is a photographer and author based between Melbourne, Singapore and New York. At once deeply personal and inherently political, her visual and literary work spans a number of styles and formats, including print, web and installation.

The Quickening is a photographic series Ang began in 2019, exploring the transformation and lived experience of early motherhood and postpartum depression and anxiety. It’s a moving meditation on ‘matrescence’, the term coined by medical anthropologist Dana Raphael to describe the physical, psychological and emotional turbulence of becoming a mother. As Ang herself puts it:

The Quickening traverses the sudden landslide of one woman’s known world and the subsequent moving through rubble, trying to make sense of what is left, devastated and in love, and ends with a slow rebuild of the new territory of becoming a mother.

Exhibited as a solo show as part of the 2019 Rencontres d’Arles festival in France, The Quickening received an honourable mention in the Julia Margaret Cameron Award (2019), was a finalist in the Grand Prix Images Vevey (2019) and was included in the Birth (2019) group show at TJ Boulting Gallery in London. In 2021, The Quickening was published as a handmade book in a limited edition of 250 copies – indicative of the number of days of gestation before the premature birth of the artist’s son. The book was a winner of the Belfast Photo Festival 2021, won the silver award for the 2020 Budapest International Foto Awards (BIFA) Documentary Photo Book Prize, took home the bronze medal for the Documentary Book Prize at the 2021 Moscow International Foto Awards, and received honourable mentions at the Px3 Paris Photography Prize and the Tokyo International Foto Awards.

In addition to her art practice and extensive exhibition history across the globe, Ang is on the teaching faculty at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, is the director of Reflexions 2.0 photographic masterclass in Europe, and is director and curator at Le Space gallery in Melbourne.