The Quickening
Ying Ang (Singapore)

The Quickening explores the transformation and lived experience of a woman in her new motherhood and postpartum anxiety. The work interrogates the under-represented transition of biological, psychological and social identity during a complex and yet ubiquitous phase of life. The task of navigating this new geography, the new days and nights, how you eat, how you sleep, how you love - this seismic transition - is called “matrescence”.

The beginning of matrescence begins as a kind of black magic curiosity - movement under the skin, growing and forming at will, the hurricane of birth, the electricity of the letdown. 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.

The Quickening will be exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Photography and National Gallery of Victoria in 2023.


Ying Ang is a multi-award winning documentary photographer and author with an extensive exhibition history and prestigious international client base such as The New Yorker, AirBnB and the New York Times. She is on the teaching faculty at the International Center of Photography in New York City, the Director of Reflexions 2.0 - a photographic masterclass based in Paris, Director / Curator at Le Space Gallery and on the Board of the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne, Australia.