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Jun Kaneko

Japanese/American, b. 1942

Pink & White Spiral Dango

16.75 x 19.25 x 19.25 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Residing in America since 1963, Jun Kaneko works in stoneware and creates wall-hanging platters, ceramic wall murals, and, most importantly, small- and large-scale sculptures called “dangos.” These recall the flavorful steamed dumplings of the same name found in Japanese restaurants. Kaneko’s dangos can be round or oval and in any size. Pink & White Spiral Dango is a small example, though others may be six feet in height. Regardless of scale, these works are vividly painted with geometric designs, stripes, and cipherlike emblems that embellish their shape. The uncompromising boldness of these stoneware objects reflects the activities of Pop artists working in the 1960s. At the same time, they invoke the design strengths of prehistoric potters who lived and worked in the American Southwest.

As a student, Jun Kaneko had the opportunity to study with premier California ceramists Peter Voulkos and Jerry Rothman, both of whom are represented in the museum’s collections. Under the tutelage of Paul Soldner at California’s Claremont Graduate School, Kaneko earned his master of fine arts degree. He has held teaching positions at Scripps College in Claremont, California, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Currently he maintains an expansive workshop and studio in Omaha, Nebraska. Represented worldwide, his works can be found in the Shigaraki Museum, Japan; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Detroit Institute of Art. Public commissions by Kaneko are located at the Phoenix Airport and the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.

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