Jun Kaneko


Known for his experimental and pioneering work in painting and ceramics, Kaneko has redefined what is physically and aesthetically possible for the medium, challenging the parameters of both its scale and materiality. A labor intensive process, his ceramic sculptures can take up to eighteen months of drying time and can involve a 37-day firing process to perfect the surface quality of his signature glazes. His work is represented in over seventy museum collections worldwide, and he has completed over fifty major public art commissions, often on an unbelievably monumental scale. Examples of which include two three hundred and fifty-foot long tile walls at the MBTA's Aquarium Station in Boston, MA (1993-2000), and a three-story high ceramic wall in the biology library at The University of Connecticut (1997).

Most recently, Kaneko installed Ascent, a fifty-six-foot tall glass tower in the center of Tower Square in Lincoln, NE (2014), and an installation of his iconic closed-form Dangos and Tanukis in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL (2013). In 2014 a series of twelve Tanuki figures were permanently installed at the Omaha Zoo, NE (2014). In addition to his civic projects and large-scale public commissions, Kaneko has also designed memorable theatrical set designs for Opera, which have allowed him to create immersive spatial environments based on the motifs and patterns he explores throughout his work. Productions have included Puccini's Madame Butterfly (2006), Beethoven's Fidelio (2008), and Mozart's The Magic Flute (2012). Upcoming opera productions include Madam Butterfly at the San Francisco Opera in November of 2016, and Madam Butterfly at the Washington National Opera in May of 2017.