G. C. Funo O'Kain is a native Chicagoan but was raised in Toronto, eventually settling in San Francisco and Austin before returning to Chicago.

In 2004, G. Funo O'Kain left a career in feature film making and television production to pursue an art education at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, Emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studio and Art Education 2006, 4-year merit scholar). In 2013, the artist completed a Masters of Fine Arts in Studio Art and Media Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada.

G. Funo O'Kain has taught in The Art Institute of Chicago's Student and Family Programs; in the Film and Video Department at Columbia College Chicago; and at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois.

Artist Statement

I am trained in a variety of mediums--from printmaking and textiles, to animation and performance. I also draw from experience in theater, dance, fashion and filmmaking.

My current work is strongly informed by themes of absence, distance and longing. Additionally, I investigate duality in racial identity and the power of objects, places and language to mediate identity formation.

Principal influences include Japanese culture, language, and philosophy; Post-World War II American art; filmmakers Yasujiro Ozu and Kore Eda; writers Kenzaburo Oe; Susan Stewart, Junichiro Tanizaki, Gaston Bachelard, Matthew Goulish, and Dionne Brand; and visual artists Isamu Noguchi, Agnes Martin, Therese Hak Kyung Cha, and Lee Ufan.

Research interests include interrogating non-subjectivity in art; decolonizing art criticism; diaspora studies; phenomenology related to images, objects and their locations, to distance and longing, and to absence.