For sale at Nordic Design Sale April 9–25
Besides top Finnish designers, Arabia ceramics department also attracted foreign ceramic artists who brought new stimuli to the Finnish field of art and elevated the position of the ceramic art in Finland. One of the them was Jun Kaneko (born in 1942 in Japan) who worked as a guest artist with Arabia in 1987.
Originally Kaneko studied painting. During the 1960s, he moved to the United States to continue his studies at the Chouinard Art Institute where he took a special interest in ceramics. After his studies, Kaneko also taught in a number of prestigious art schools in the United States. His studying years in the United States were during the period when the contemporary American ceramics movement was just forming.
As an artist, Kaneko has always followed his own path, with a devoted approach to ceramics as a material. During his career of over four decades, he combined in his works Japanese cultural heritage and his background as a painter with modern western ceramic art. As an emerging ceramic artist, he used ceramics as if a canvas for his paintings. According to the artist himself, it was difficult for him to leave the surfaces of his sculptures bare and, perhaps because of his background as a painter, he felt he would need to paint on them. Respect for the material is essential in Kaneko’s works and he also lets the material define the size of a piece. One of the forms Kaneko favours on his sculptures is a large oval dish functioning as a background for a rhythmic play of various string-like forms.
Jun Kaneko has worked in several experimental ceramics studios around the world. In 1986, just before his visit to Finland, he founded his current studio, located in Omaha, Nebraska. He continues to work there, studying the possibilities of materials and colours. Kaneko’s works can be found in collections of over 70 museums around the word and the Royal College of Art in London and the University of Nebraska have both granted him honorary doctorates.
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