Minah Lee's earwig profile. Minah in a red dress holding a rattle with long brown hair.
Minah Lee during The Lovers Inside Boa Constrictor in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Kim-sol/보통현상
Wryly Andherson's earwig profile . Wryly's face and arms covered with his jacket.
Wryly Andherson during The Lovers Inside Boa Constrictor in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Kim-sol/보통현상

Art Action Earwig, a multidisciplinary performance collective composed of Wryly Andherson and Minah Lee, is based in Vancouver, the unceded ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/ Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. On these stolen lands, an artist who was losing her ground in the Canadian immigration system and a Canadian artist experiencing financial burdens united to make their creative livelihoods sustainable.

To demonstrate their commitment and solidarity, they collaborated on two new iterations of The Lovers Inside Boa Constrictor– an autobiographical and situational dialogue-performance staged at Vancouver’s 2018 Outsider Arts Festival. This performance was their wedding ceremony, protest, and a celebration of love against the systemic violence of economic exploitation. Sharing their isolated realities with diverse communities through various modes of storytelling proved essential in their artwork.

Wryly has been practicing puppetry since 2003 and created Moth Orbit Object Theater in 2011. Minah has been exploring multimedia performance since 2007 and co-founded FurryN@vel Performing Arts Collective in 2013. Bringing individual expertise together as a new performing arts group, they conjured shadows for sister-shows Midnight Mirror (2018) and Mo’s Closet (2019). These theatre performances, part of a Climate Shadow Series, explore urgent matters of climate crisis that are deeply entangled with everyday human activities as well as the issues of race, gender, and labor in the globally industrialized world.

The duo’s collaborative journey, that had begun in early 2018, continues under the name Earwig from 2020. Earwig’s art practices concern issues beyond national borders, exploring both challenging and inspiring matters of our time that call for actions.

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. We are aware that the potentials for change are locked within the issues that cause contention – racial tensions, economic disparities, and environmental justice. With this awareness, we use our personal voices to amplify our concerns and unlock social change.

To tell tangible stories, we use mundane objects, theatrical effects, social intervention or ceremony. Besides inviting adults to ponder serious local, national, and global issues through child-like eyes, Earwig has been engaging children through festival workshops, afterschool classes, and community education programs.

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