The E.V. Moore Building, one of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance's primary facilities, is the new home of the latest installation of public art on North Campus. A large colorful sculpture by artist Jun Kaneko was installed near the entrance of the building on October 14. The work was made possible by an anonymous donor gift for public art made to President Coleman's office.
"With this installation, we are delighted to introduce some lively and engaging public art, which adds a wonderful counterpoint to the mid-20th century aesthetic of our historic, Saarinen-designed building," said Dean Christopher Kendall. "We are grateful to the generous donor that made it possible, and to the President's office for agreeing to place this visually exciting work on our campus."
Jun Kaneko's artwork appears in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually, and is included in at least 70 museum collections. He has realized more than 30 public art commissions in the United States and Japan and is the recipient of national, state and organization fellowships. Among the many sites where his public art resides are the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, on Park Avenue in New York (for NYC Parks and Recreation Program), San Jose Repertory Theatre, and the Phoenix Art Museum.
In addition, Kaneko is an opera production designer, having created imaginative sets for San Francisco Opera's production of The Magic Flute, Opera Omaha's production of Madame Butterfly, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia's production of Fidelio. Kaneko, who resides in Omaha, was recently profiled on CBSSunday Morning News, which said he is "rewriting the rules for the shape and size of ceramic art."
The work at Moore features two giant sculptures of human heads-one with human features, the other blank-which is part of an ongoing series that Kaneko has done in this format. Featuring a bright palate of red and yellow, along with black and white polka dots, the installation is at once whimsical and arresting. Kaneko's former professor at the University of California, Berkely, Peter Voulkos, said: "Kaneko's...works are an amazing synthesis of painting and sculpture ... enigmatic and elusive, simultaneously restrained and powerful, Eastern and Western, static and alive, intellectual and playful, technical and innovative."