One cold winter morning we set off…

Opening Griffin’s 2008 season is photographer-storyteller William Yang’s critically acclaimed performance piece China.

In China, William Yang returns to a motherland he never knew, a stranger in his homeland. Accompanied by hundreds of arresting images, Yang takes us from the streets of Beijing, where electronics superstores jostle with echoes of the Cultural Revolution and the Ming Dynasty, to the sacred mountain Huang Shan, a must-climb for every Chinese pilgrim-tourist. Yang passes through palaces, Shaolin temples, and impossibly crowded cities, affording the audience the snapshot of one of the world’s oldest civilisations.

Yang’s wryly humorous and sensitive perspective, his eye for detail, and his arresting images come together with Nicholas Ng’s haunting live score for the erhu (Chinese violin) and pipa (Chinese lute), in an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Part social documentary, part personal observation, China is a journey of reflection about the meaning of culture and belonging, for performer and audience alike.

For over 15 years, William Yang has presented performance pieces with slide and video projections. China is his ninth monologue performance, in a career that has seen him become Australia’s most toured performing artist – with Sadness, Friends of Dorothy, Shadows and Objects of Meditation all having toured extensively in Australia and overseas.

Cast & Creatives

Text and Images by William Yang
Performer William Yang
Musician Nicholas Ng

An umbrella event of City of Sydney’s 2008 Chinese New Year Festival

Performance Times

Previews 15 & 16 January
Season 19 January – 9 February