Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942. He studied painting with Satoshi Ogawa during his adolescence, working in his studio during the day and attending high school in the evening. He came to the United States in 1963 to continue those studies at Chouinard Institute of Art. An introduction to collector Fred Marer drew him to sculptural ceramics and he proceeded to study with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman in California during the time now defined as the Contemporary Ceramics Movement in America. 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.
His artwork appears in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually, and is included in more than seventy museum collections. He has realized over thirty public art commissions in the United States and Japan and is the recipient of national, state, and organization fellowships. Kaneko holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and the Royal College of Art in London.
In 2012 Kaneko finalized his production design of Mozart’s Magic Flute for the San Francisco Opera which has traveled across the Unites States. From 2003-2006 Kaneko designed a new production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which premiered at Opera Omaha in March of 2006 and continues to tours nationally. From 2006-2008 he designed a new production of Beethoven’s sole opera Fidelio that premiered in 2008 at the Opera Company Philadelphia.
In 2000 he and his wife Ree Kaneko formed a non-profit scholarly and presenting organization in Omaha Nebraska called KANEKO dedicated to the exploration of creativity in the arts, sciences and philosophy. For more information please visit www.thekaneko.org.