Known as the “Erotic Conceptualist” or “Sexistential Crisis,” Coco Ono is a performance, burlesque, and installation artist whose name is derived from Yoko Ono and the chic, liberating attitude of Coco Chanel, a woman who disrupted the standards of their time. Her performances are often inspired by conceptual art, ritual, and catharsis, expressing racial stereotyping and emotional, physical, and cultural confines – often in dark humor, including homages to Andy Warhol, Hunter S. Thompson, and pop culture.
Coco Ono was born in South Korea and adopted by a Japanese American family whose family was put into internment camps during WWII. As a result, she experienced confusion in identity, boundaries, and cultural background. After high school, she moved to Los Angeles and, among other endeavors at the intersection of art-making, self-discovery, and survival, began performing as an exotic and burlesque dancer, serving not only as a sexual projection but as a private confessor. This form of expression is where she felt at home, and healing was found in this exchange of vulnerability.
Before the pandemic, Coco Ono was performing weekly at various strip clubs around Los Angeles, with the Bootleg Bombshells at Townhouse in Venice, monthly with Tarantina at Club Bajia and Night Scene at Highland Park Bowl, Poetry Brothel, as well as having performed with/at Tease if You Please, Slipper Room, Asian Burlesque Extravaganza, Bell, Book and Candle, New York Burlesque Festival, Montreal Burlesque Festival, Sweet Tease in Geneva and After Party in Tokyo.