Kaneko in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, January 19th, 2013
|Awards||Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London|
Early life and education
In 1942 he was born in Nagoya, Japan, where he studied painting during his high school years. He came to the United States in 1963 to continue those studies at Chouinard Institute of Art when his focus was drawn to sculptural ceramics through his introduction to Fred Marer. He studied with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman in California during the time now defined as the contemporary ceramics movement.
Kaneko established his third studio in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1990 where he primarily works. He has also created work in several experimental studios including European Ceramic Work Center, Otsuka Omi Ceramic Company, Fabric Workshop, Bullseye Glass and A.S.A.P. He created series of large-scale sculptures from 1982-1983 at his Omaha Project, from 1992-1994 at his Fremont Project in California and currently at his Mission Clay Project in Kansas. He produced a large Dango series of ceramic pieces resembling vases without openings. (Dango means "dumpling" or "closed form" in Japanese.) His prolific roster of diverse work appears in numerous international solo and group exhibitions annually.
Kaneko's technique involves the use of masking tape and colored slips, which he uses to covers free-standing ceramic forms and wall-hung pieces with graphic motifs and markings. He frequently favors the large oval plate as one his sculptural formats, which serves as a canvas for arrangements of straight, curving, and spiraling lines, creating an interplay of abstract imagery on a three-dimensional surface.
He also designed sets and costumes for opera performances: Opera Omaha's Madama Butterfly (2006) and a co production of the San Francisco Opera, Opera Omaha and the Washington National Opera, The Magic Flute (2012).
His work is included in more than forty museum collections including the Hawaii State Art Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Museum of Nebraska Art, Scripps College, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His most recent collected works is Water Plaza at Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Missouri. He has realized over twenty-five public art commissions around the world. He has been honored with national, state and organization fellowships and an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London.
Major Permanent Commissions
- Polka Dot Sidewalk, 1984, Museum of South Texas History, Edinburg, Texas
- Salt Palace, 1994, Salt Lake City
- Tropical Sounds, 2000, Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu.
- Untitled, 2000, Hawaii State Art Museum Sculpture Garden
- Dango, 2001, Honolulu Museum of Art
- Garden of Tanukis, 2014, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha, Nebraska
Four “Dango” by Jun Kaneko, all 2001, Honolulu Museum of Art
- "Oral history interview with Jun Kaneko, 2005 May 23- 24". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- "Jun Kaneko". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Honolulu Museum of Art, Spalding House Self-guided Tour, Sculpture Garden, 2014, p. 3
- Kaneko, Jun, “Jun Kaneko, selected works, 1989-2005, edited by Iwai Mieko”, Osaka, Japan, Kokuritsu Kokusai Bijutsukan, 2005.
- Morse, Marcia and Allison Wong, 10 Years: The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 2006, ISBN 1888254076, p. 56
- Peterson, Susan, “Jun Kaneko / Susan Peterson, foreword by Arthur C. Danto”, London, Laurence King, 2001.
- Public Art in Public Places Project - Southern California and Hawaii. 2014.
- "Colorbox 1-5". Glass. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
- Personal website
- Oral history interview with Jun Kaneko, 2005 May 23- 24, Archives of American Art