yann chwen



Yann Chwen 晏淳

pronouns: they/them/theirs

Photos by Ciel Sriprasert

Photos by Ciel Sriprasert

Hello, I’m Yann Chwen, a dancer, designer and doer-of-many-things currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Born and raised in Pulau Pinang, I spent time in Singapura and Turtle Island before recently relocating to KL. As a queer Malaysian Chinese-Thai settler, I descend from Teochew women who crossed the sea and built families through war; custodians, teachers, factory workers, merchants and shopkeepers; and my family that now acquires wealth through property development. I am learning to live in constant contradiction.

I’m deeply interested in spaces where activism and the arts live together. Through dance, performance, artmaking, websites, collective living, teaching, facilitation and community-based justice work, I am learning my place in the ecosystem of our world. My work is rooted in storytelling; land, place and histories; unlearning colonialism and capitalism; listening to our bodies; community care and interdependence; redistributing resources; and imagining otherwise. 

I’ve worked as: a web and graphic designer / visual artist / dance theatre performer / dance and drama teacher / video producer and editor / writer. Organisations I’ve had the honour of being a part of include: IncluDe Innovation, Apprentice Learning, Danza Orgánica, Mission Hill School, the Tufts University Women's Center and All Women's Action Society (AWAM) Malaysia

I hold a B.A. from Tufts University, where I studied the intersection of social justice, pedagogy and the arts, through double majors in American Studies (Race and Ethnic Studies) and Education, and minors in Dance and Colonialism Studies.