Nanaimo Art Gallery presents: Give Birth Love Tooth
Opening Reception: Friday, April 28th, 7 – 9 pm
Give Birth Love Tooth is a collaborative multimedia exhibition by Nanaimo-based collective Art Action Earwig, composed of Minah Lee, Wryly Andherson, and Tadafumi Tamura. The project started with a story about wisdom teeth, 사랑니, meaning Love Tooth in Korean.
The artists begin the story, an autobiographical documentary-fiction, as follows:
“On That Woman’s 38th birthday, That Woman is reminded that her single mother was 38 when she gave birth to her. Her molars gain unusual abilities to express willfully forgotten and silenced memories of That Woman’s body; lost labour, language barriers, legal struggles, and longing for love.”
Expanding from this introduction Give Birth Love Tooth will feature a 4-channel video installation of story-tellers’ conversations with Art Action Earwig, integrated with animation. The exhibition will also feature large print photos, sculptural installations, projections with surround sound, interactive displays and an artbook, that combines shared stories of family, history, and lands. A series of performances and events through the community will complement the exhibition, information and registration will be available on the Nanaimo Art Gallery website, NanaimoArtGallery.ca
Lee notes that the group has been guided by what they call a practice to ‘root in routine’ working to be grounded in a respectful and reciprocal way. She also remarked “We have been learning from local knowledge keepers in our preparation for this exhibition. Elder Geraldine Manson has guided us to work with native seeds for our Seed Bomb activities.”
Give Birth Love Tooth is the fifth exhibition through which Nanaimo Art Gallery asks the question, What stories do we tell?
Nanaimo Art Gallery offers admission by donation and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays from 12 to 5 pm, Tours of Give Birth Love Tooth are available Fridays through the run of the exhibition at 12 pm. Tours are $5 per person and are free for members.
Art Action Earwig seeks creative ways to honour the lands and waters they live on – the unceded Coast Salish territories. They 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. Their work is also situated in South Korea and Japan where their members’ distant homes and families are. Formed in early 2020 by founding members Minah and Wryly during the early days of Covid-19, they pursue art practices through gestures that resist colonial legacies. After a series of creative exchanges and discussions throughout the pandemic, in 2022 Tadafumi joined the team.