Jun Kaneko Installations "Untitled (Dango), 2002, Untitled (Triangle Dango), 1996, Untitled (Dango), 1992" at Mandarin Oriental

This page last updated on 03/24/2018

 The Artist: Jun Kaneko is a Japanese artist born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942. During his adolescence he studied painting with Satoshi Ogawa. The following decade, Kaneko taught at some of the nation's leading art schools, including Scripps College, Rhode Island School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art. Jun Kaneko’s most recognized sculptural form is the boldly glazed, monumental dango (it’s Japanese for “dumpling”). An enormous, rounded monolith, the dango presents visual pleasure and straightforward formal delight. As the distinguished philosopher and critic Arthur C. Danto has noted, “They communicate instantaneously their friendly and reconciling assurances, and wear the real world as well as the brilliant coverings that Kaneko has given them.” He has consistently followed his own path and continually experimented with the technical aspects of the ceramic medium. His enormous dango forms, which range as high as eleven feet, challenge the physical limitations of the material and the firing process. Also, in his work at the European Ceramics Work Center, he has succeeded in applying extraordinary glaze color to ceramic tile and slabs, boldly painting in a direct and graphic manner.
The Installation: There are three glazed ceramic monoliths at the Mandarin Oriental - Ground Floor Hotel Lobby. These three rotund pieces of the Untitled Dango Series are (Fig. 03) Untitled (Dango), 2002,  (Fig. 01) Untitled (Triangle Dango), 1996,  (Fig. 02) Untitled (Dango), 1992, and typify their Japanese name "dumpling". Jun Kaneko’s three works offer the perfect balance of scale and design, allowing the work to unify within the surrounding architectural design. Made entirely of clay and fired in a giant kiln, the tallest of the three sculptures reaches an impressive seven feet tall, a difficult feat in ceramics.
(Fig. 01) Untitled, Triangle Dango, 1996, 67 x 63 x 14 inches
(Fig. 02) Untitled, Dango, 1992, 73.5 x 52 x 35 inches
(Fig. 03) Untitled, Dango, 2002, 86 x 29 x 22 inches