Art Action Earwig is a interdisciplinary multimedia and performance collective composed of Wryly Andherson, Minah Lee, and Tadafumi Tamura, based between Nanaimo and Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories. We live and work on the lands of the Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) and Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) peoples of Vancouver Island and the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations of the Lower Mainland. Our work is also situated in South Korea and Japan where our members’ distant homes and families are. Formed in early 2020 by founding members Minah and Wryly during the early days of Covid-19, we operate in the spirit of mutual aid in pursuing and sustaining art practices through gestures that resist colonial legacies. In 2022 Tadafumi joined the team, after a series of creative exchanges and discussions throughout the pandemic, brooding over our shared concerns.
Earwig’s art practices concern issues close to home and beyond national borders, exploring both challenging and inspiring matters of our time that call for action. We celebrate our personal stories and the conversations that come out of different identities. We mobilize creative access to pressing social and political matters that engender divides in our societies. The potential for change is locked within the issues – racial tensions, economic disparities, and environmental justice. We use our voices to amplify our concerns and unlock social change. To make stories tangible, we create a variety of access points, combining multimedia theatre and social intervention or ceremony. While inviting adults to ponder serious local, national, and global issues through fresh child-like wonder, Earwig has also engaged children through festival workshops, after school classes, and community education programs.
Minah is an interdisciplinary artist (BFA in theatre, MA in Comparative Media Arts at SFU) who grew up in South Korea and moved to Vancouver in 2007. She was a long-term temporary foreign worker and international student until she became a Permanent Resident in late 2019. She has created/performed at many innovative performing arts festivals including rEvolver festival (2014 & 2021), Vancouver’s Outsider Arts festival (2017&2018) and Cinevolution’s Digital Carnival (2016&2017). Minah published her script “Mad Woman’s ESL Poetry” in Canadian Theatre Review (2019). Recently, she participated in The Only Animal’s the Artist Brigade: Artists + Climate Action (2020) and Greenhouse (2021~). Since 2021, she has been a member of the GVPTA’s Digital Connections’ cohort.
Wryly is a multi-disciplinary, multi-media performance artist, rooted in burlesque, music, object theater/ animism, philosophy and assemblage. Wryly’s primary interests involve wrestling with complicated stories, widening circles of understanding, and re-evaluating values. Wryly began a career in arts with burlesque and performance art in Vancouver between 2002 and 2004 before pursuing philosophy at SFU. Since 2003 Wryly has performed, written, built, soundtracked or advised for numerous works of puppet theater, including motion captured digital puppetry, bicycle part marionettes, and shadow theater. Wryly served as the puppet slam coordinator for the Vancouver International Puppet Festival 2016-2018 and curated the monthly New Moon Cabaret 2017-2018 at the Artist Resource Centre. Wryly has shown and performed in B.C. galleries including the Penticton Art Gallery and Seymour Art Gallery; and at several festivals including ArtsWells festival, Puppeteers of America’s PNW Regional Festival, and Living Things Art Festival.
Tadafumi Tamura is a photographer whose art practices include still life photography and performative portraits. In his still life projects, he has focused on unexciting, unimportant, and nonvaluable objects that are found in everyday life around him. Being aware of photography’s historical role in reproducing power-relations, his performative portraits, including self portraits, attempt to empower ordinary people like himself and his friends by challenging or subverting stereotypes and cultural symbols. His works have been exhibited at BC’s Affordable Housing Conference, Vancouver Outside Arts Festival, and Access Gallery. In 2022, Tadafumi expanded his art practice beyond photography in the context of COVID-19 pandemic after experiencing the resurgence of anti-Asian racism in Canada. He organized にほんご公民館, or pop-up Japanese language table, an interactive and performative community space at the Powell Street Festival, to make an linguistic intervention into both the white dominant society and Japanese Canadian community in which the use of English has been normalized.