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Kaneko’s unparalleled technical skills as a craftsman, proclivity for pushing the boundaries of aesthetics and scale, and experimental spirit have defined his illustrious and multifaceted career in public art, set design, and architectural projects. His work is included in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually, and can be found in the collections of more than seventy museums. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and the Royal College of Art in London. He co-founded, with his wife Ree, the non-profit organization KANEKO in 1998. He currently lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska.
Best known for his large-scale, monumental dango (Japanese for “rounded form”) sculptures, Jun Kaneko makes glazed ceramicsm that resemble inflated, three-dimensional canvases. Often as tall as 13 feet, these objects are meant to spark interaction with both their immediate space and their architectural environments. “Whether I’m making a large or small object, in the end I hope it will make sense to have that particular scale and form together and that it will give off enough visual energy to shake the air around it,” he has said. Kaneko uses colored slips and masking tape to create motifs and patterns on his works after the firing process is over. This allows him to treat the surface as a curvilinear canvas and produce objects that are equal parts sculpture and painting. Kaneko also works in bronze, glass, textiles, prints, and has recently turned to stage design.