In her intriguing series Gold Coast, Australian photographer Ying Ang captures the contradictory nature of Australia’s crime-ridden golden coast.
Dividing her time between Melbourne, Singapore and New York, Ying Ang is a photographer of social and contemporary issues. In her intriguing series Gold Coast, she depicts Australia’s tourist capital turned crime capital, a paradisiac strip of golden beach dominated by crime and unexpected violence.
– I lived here for most of my life, Ying Ang says. I was raised on the taste of lawnmower fumes in the air and the dark gleam of perpetually circling crows. It is the tyranny of this Lynchian landscape, dominated by intolerance and unexpected violence, where I became a reluctant witness to more crimes than I knew the names of by the time I was 18. All of this set in a town that looked and was marketed like a suburban paradise.
A sunny place for shady people
– “A sunny place for shady people” became a term that began circulating through the Australian media when referring to the ongoing melodramas of shysters that end up settling on the Gold Coast. A perfect strip of golden beach where one of ill-repute can reinvent themselves, where tales of rape, drugs, murder and extortion are whispered behind pastel colored walls and porcelain veneered grins.
– Once labelled as the tourist capital and now declared as the crime capital of Australia, this is a tale of a place that laid the flawed foundation of its character upon a mirage of tranquility. It is about the price of those swimming pools and sun drenched afternoons. It is about real estate and the beautiful lie sold and bought here every day.
Ying Ang has exhibited internationally in group and solo shows, from New York to Arles, in addition to working for clients such as the Wall Street Journal, The Fader in New York, Das Magazin in Zurich, Yo Dona in Madrid, and Afisha Mir in Moscow. A member of the MJR creative collective, alongside Adrienne Grunwald, Ling Ang, Mustafah Abdulaziz, Matthew Craig, Gareth Phillips, Brandon Thibodeaux and Noah Rabinowitz, Ying also devotes her time to producing publications and managing a variety of projects within the wider creative community.
See a selection of photographs from Ying Ang’s Gold Coast series above,