Biography

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 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 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; the immigrant experience in America; phenomenology related to images, objects and their locations, to distance and longing, to absence, and to liminal spaces.


Group Exhibitions

2016
19th International Open
Woman Made Gallery
Chicago, IL
(Juried)

2014
Under Construction
SOHO20 CHELSEA GALLERY
New York, New York
(Juried)

2014
Faculty Exhibition
Anne Brierly Gallery
New Trier Township High School
Winnetka, IL

2014
The Yoko Ono Fan Club Exhibition
University at Buffalo SUNY
Buffalo, NY
(Juried)

2012
Faculty Exhibition
Anne Brierly Gallery
New Trier Township High School
Winnetka, IL

2012
MFA Thesis Exhibition
Charles H. Scott Gallery
Vancouver, BC, Canada

2011
Paper Trail: Works on Paper
G. Funo and Monika Moki Tantoko
North Branch Projects
Chicago, IL

2011
Upon Occasion
MFA First-Year Exhibition
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Vancouver, BC, Canada

2011
Co-curator with Kristina Fiedrich
New Directions in Drawing Symposium
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Vancouver, BC, Canada

2010
Faculty Exhibition
Anne Brierly Gallery
New Trier Township High School
Winnetka, IL

2009
Temporary Allegiance
Gallery 400
University of Illinois Chicago

2008
BareWalls 08
School of The Art Institute of Chicago
(Juried)

2007
13th Annual Women’s International
SOHO20 CHELSEA GALLERY
511 West 25th Street, 6th floor
New York, NY
(Juried)

2007
Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet
Field Museum Plaza
Chicago, IL
(Juried)

2007
BFA Senior Exhibition
School of The Art Institute
Of Chicago
Chicago, IL


Education

Emily Carr University of Art+Design
MFA, Visual Art
2013

School of The Art Institute of Chicago
BFA, Interdisciplinary Studio with an Emphasis in Art Education
2006


Honors, Awards, Presentations

2013
University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award

2009
Artist in Residence
Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL

2007
Artist in Residence
Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL

2006
Artist in Residence
Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL

2006
Co-Author with Irina Zadov, A Record of Cabrini Green
National Art Educators Association Conference
New York, NY

2003-2006
Four-Year Merit Scholar
The School of The Art Institute
Of Chicago


Teaching

2009-Present
Teaching Faculty, Art Department
New Trier Township High School District 203
Winnetka, IL

2019
Co-Teacher, with Aimee Walleston
Text + Image: Writing About Art at the Whitney Biennial
Sotheby’s Summer Institute, Pre-College Program
New York, NY

2007-2010
Adjunct Faculty, Film Department:
Foundation Program and Japanese Cinema
Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, IL

2007-2010
Teaching Artist, Teen Lab Artist Internship Program
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL


Professional Activities

2016
Critical Mixed-Race Studies Conference
Presenter and Artists Panel
DePaul University,
Chicago, IL
Kiss Me I’m Passing for White: Performing Racial Identity

2007-2011
Chicago International Film Festival
Juror
Chicago, IL



Honors, Awards, Presentations

2013
Recipient
University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award

Summer 2009
Artist in Residence
Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL

Winter 2006/2007
Artist in Residence
Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL

2006
Co-Author (with Irina Zadov), A Record of Cabrini Green
National Art Educators Association Conference
New York, NY

2003-2006
Four-Year Merit Scholar
The School of The Art Institute
Of Chicago

1995
Artist in Residence
International Filmmakers’
Workshop at Rockport
Rockport, ME