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Portland Japanese Garden to Transform Its Landscape with Large Ceramic Statues by Internationally Acclaimed Artist Jun Kaneko

PORTLAND, Ore. — September 15, 2022 —Portland Japanese Garden is delighted to share that its final art exhibition of 2022, Garden of Resonance, will feature the work of internationally acclaimed artist Jun Kaneko (b. 1942). Kaneko, winner of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center, has made major contributions to the field of sculptural art on a global scale, exploring the relationships between art, nature, and people with their bold scale and placement.

Starting on October 1st, Kaneko’s famously large and evocative outdoor ceramic statues will be visible across Portland Japanese Garden, creating a stunning juxtaposition with the fiery reds and oranges of the maples this fall. This will be in addition to more intimate pieces from the nearly 60 years of Kaneko’s celebrated career, including sketches and drawings.

The Most Famous Artist Many Don’t Know by Name

Born in Nagoya, Japan, Kaneko first arrived in the United States in 1963 and studied ceramic art from the leaders of the American Clay Revolution, including icons such as Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman. Kaneko, now an icon in his own right, is someone many might not know by name but may be familiar with via his vivid and dazzling public installations. Since his first large scale commission in Omaha in 1983, Kaneko’s work has charmed people in several American cities including Detroit, Kansas City, Laramie, Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. as well as locations around the world including Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, England, Greece, China, and Japan.

Untitled by Jun Kaneko, 2014. Hand-built and glazed ceramics. Photo by Colin Conces.

While Kaneko’s Dango, named that because of their resemblance to Japanese dumplings, Tanuki (Japanese racoon dogs), and massive Heads are among his more well-known works, Kaneko has also designed sets and wardrobe for touring opera productions such as Madam Butterfly and has had his glass art featured in town squares, gardens, libraries, and houses of worship.

An Instagram and TikTok Moment

While it is not the first time that Portland Japanese Garden has displayed large-scale art in its garden spaces, art “in situ” is still a rarity. Pieces on display were carefully selected by the team to accentuate the landscape, without overwhelming or competing with it. Juxtaposed alongside the everchanging colors and textures of fall, creators, families, and shutterbugs alike will have an opportunity to capture a unique moment at Portland Japanese Garden.

Info on the Exhibition:

  • Opens October 1, 2022 and runs through February 20, 2023
  • Included with Garden admission  
  • Event page
Jun Kaneko. Photo by Takashi Hatakeyama.

Media Contacts:    

Will Lerner | 503-542-9351 | [email protected]egarden.org

Photos:

Examples of the work can be found here, in-situ photographs will be provided closer to the exhibition date. Credit is in the file name.

Photographs of Portland Japanese Garden, credit in file name.

About Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden is a nonprofit organization originally founded in 1963 as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II. A hallmark in the City of Portland, the Garden was founded on the ideals of peace and mutual understanding between peoples and cultures. Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and the foremost Japanese cultural organization in North America.


Portland Japanese Garden would like to thank the Japan Foundation for their funding support of this exhibition.