Interlude Docs

Doc 041: Richard Fung

Interlude Docs

I don’t recall being beaten up for being effeminate, but I was always on the defensive growing up gay. There was no mandatory physical education at my schools in Trinidad and Ireland, and, except for swimming classes, I avoided sports entirely. In 1980, I challenged myself to backpack solo from Central to South America and, when I returned the following year, I started karate. I studied martial arts for 20 years and attained a black belt. As my sensei Burt Konzak would instruct, the goal was less to win in a fight than to avoid fighting, and the most lasting impact was the expectation of integrity, commitment, and diligence. Sensei Konzak died last year. 

Richard Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based artist and writer. He is Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University.


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