COLLECTIVE CONVERSATIONS . . . Talking to Photographer + Storyteller Ying Ang!

In a period of time when we're inundated with what feels like consistent bad news, we wanted to put some emphasis on the positive. This is the first instalment in our mini-series "Collective Conversations," a bi-weekly segment focusing on a woman we think is awesome + what she's all about. This week we're talking to the multifaceted Ying Ang. She's a photographer, educator, mother, director of Le Space gallery and self-professed maximalist who splits her time between New York, Singapore and Melbourne. We chatted to her about creative motivation, motherhood and the importance of girlfriends. 

  1. Describe yourself in three words? 

    Story-teller, Anti-purist, Maximalist

  2. How have you been staying motivated? 

    I’ve been trying to stay engaged with my creative community as much as possible… developing different individual projects, including our recent artist-in-residence at Le Space Gallery, Gareth Phillips. He had to leave his residency early due to the coronavirus and return to the UK early, but has been continuing his project and book over there that we continue to be involved with. I’m also re-launching an artist masterclass in Europe and New York, called Reflexions Masterclass, that will endeavor to harness and nurture creative talent around the the world, looking to create work in this complex and pivotal moment in human history. There is a sense of global urgency that drives me forward. History is being made, divergent courses are being formed in the experience of humanity and we are all here, caught in the eye of it. History is mined from the data of local experience. The butcher, the housewife, the paramedic, the student. Politicians use these stories for their ends, but what remains, the true thrust and parry of every battle fought, are those recorded by the soldiers, with their knees in the trenches and ink made from mud and blood. 

  3. Something that you’re passionate about? 

    Photography, poetry, cinema and literature in their capacity to capture the complexity of the human experience.


4. Who do you most admire? 

I have 3 girlfriends who I used to live with in New York City who used to ride in a protective peloton around me when we used to bike, in my first terrified few months there. Literally my ride-or-dies. Their unwavering love, support, vulnerability, strength and tenacity in life and friendship are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Shout out to Adrienne Grunwald, Talia Herman and Barbara Saric.

5. What scares you the most about the unknown?

I suppose the unknown in general doesn’t really scare me. But in the context of covid-era living, I’m pretty anxious about the way our previously globalized world will shrink and what a nationalized, xenophobic, closed border world is going to look like, if that’s the way we will continue to live. 

6. What is something you’re proud of? 

I’m proud of being able to find a way back to making work again, after the seismic transition to motherhood.

7. What's something you do to be kind to yourself? 

Yoga and sushi.

8. What are you most looking forward to post-isolation? 

Wearing heels and going out on a date with my husband.

9. How do you align and connect with your intuition?

I find that I have to operate from a place of honesty and shut down all the voices that don’t feel true, like fear and insecurity. And then I speak to my therapist :)

10. What's an assumption others make about you?

That I don’t watch reality television? Lol.

11. Is there an item you would like to see from Collective Closets in the future? 


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