Mint Museum Uptown : Jun Kaneko: In the Round

Kaneko is best known for his Dango sculptures. Each of these monumental sculptures is hand-built, and combines traditional ceramics techniques as well as the ancient Shinto concept of ‘Ma' which loosely translates into ‘attachment through space.' 

Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, Jun Kaneko came to the United States in 1963 to study painting at the Chouinard Institute of Art in Los Angeles, now the California Institute for the Arts, where he became interested in sculptural ceramics. Studying in California with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman, he became immersed in what is now known as the contemporary ceramics movement. Kaneko has taught at some of the nation's leading art schools, including Scripps College, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1990, Kaneko established his current studio in Omaha, Nebraska. His work is in more than seventy museum collections and appears in numerous international solo and group exhibitions annually. Kaneko has completed more than thrity public commissions in the United States and Japan.


Kaneko is best known for his Dango sculptures. Each of these monumental sculptures is hand-built, and combines traditional ceramics techniques as well as the ancient Shinto concept of ‘Ma' which loosely translates into ‘attachment through space.' On each sculpture, Kaneko creates highly patterned surfaces comprised of rhythmic graphic elements—squares, lines, and dots—to infer connections: "To me, a pattern or color repeated, makes some kind of visual order. Even if I desire to use a line, an endless combination of lines is possible. The spaces between the marks contribute a great deal to the tonality of the finished work."