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Jun Kaneko


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#1 Cass

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:08 PM

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is he not a clay god?...look at these monumental monoliths, my jaw is on the floor

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i'm inspired by the scale, but mostly by his work ethic, how amazingly prolific he is

#2 Frederik-W

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:51 AM

I like some of his stuff. Others not.

A lot of his works look very glossy, acrillic-painted. It looks as if it is made of plastic or painted fibreglass. This is the case for his ceramic and bronze sculptures. (click on the thumbnail below).
You do not see anything that bring out the nature of the medium, clay or bronze.
He is an artist that works in different mediums, so I ask myself why make a bronze or ceramic sculpture to look like this?
The most reasonable answer I can come up with is that it is the form and finish that matters here, not the medium.

He is obviously a talented man, but to me he does not bring out much of the ceramic medium itself, except proving that it can be used for huge things.
Not that there is any requirement to do that, it is just that some artists make the best of the aesthetic aspects of the medium itself, while for others the medium is simply a vehicle for other aesthetic aspects.

I have also seen artists who would go to great trouble in making clay look like leather or metal.
While this is quite an achievement, I sometimes wonder what is the point, apart from practical reasons such that it will last longer.
If the ceramic object is made so well that it looks exactly like e.g. leather, then by definition there is aesthetically no difference (from a visual aspect). So there are no bonus points for all the hard work as far as aesthetics go.

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#3 Rebel_Rocker

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

I agree with Frederik about the painted sculptures, the base material really could be anything and it wouldn't matter.

Gotta disagree about the leather looking things though. The one lady who makes purses and shoes, etc... is amazing. Sure, at first glance it appears to be leather, but when you learn it's clay it really blows your mind. And that to me is the beauty of it.

Unlike these monoliths, knowing they are made of clay, plaster, metal, wood... That triggers no response from me. They are very large and not my cup of tea anyway. But it's not a 'trick' or illusion. It's just a very large piece.

#4 Chris Campbell

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:25 AM

"I have also seen artists who would go to great trouble in making clay look like leather or metal.
While this is quite an achievement, I sometimes wonder what is the point, apart from practical reasons such that it will last longer.
If the ceramic object is made so well that it looks exactly like e.g. leather, then by definition there is aesthetically no difference (from a visual aspect). So there are no bonus points for all the hard work as far as aesthetics go."

For about three years I produced a line of porcelain birdhouses that looked as though they were made from items off a trash heap ... old license plates, fake brick sheets, beat up corrugated plastic, wooden pallets, rusted old nails and bolts. It was a lot of fun to take something as lovely as porcelain and totally turn tables to make it look like another medium. I only have a couple left that I kept back as souvenirs because they sold really well for sundecks and porches. I even have had birds try to nest in them without great success.

I wish there was a demand for that type of workshop as I would teach it in a heartbeat ... it is so much fun to try to figure out how to create the illusion. I can't put any deeper meaning into it as it was just fun ... the idea came from an assignment in art class to create a birdhouse and I just happened to follow a beat up truck full of trash on the way home.

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#5 Cass

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

if you hug a Kaneko you can tell what its made of!

i'm a painter too, so the crossover aspect is inspirational, not bothersome

the size is an amazing technical achievement, he went thru hell to get to this scale, knowing a bit of his bio no one would question his dedication to the material.

the surface is where he has arrived at over time, partially for the aesthetic, but also for the practical aspect, that they will in many cases be outdoors year-round

all taste though! there's tons of stuff, thought of as amazing, that literally makes me want to hurl

#6 Rebel_Rocker

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

Yeah I didn't mean to dismiss his work. It's certainly a feat of monumental proportions ;)

#7 SShirley

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

Many of the photographs you showed were taken right here in my home town, Pittsburg Kansas. There is a manufacturer of giant clay pipes, MIssion Clay, that invites some pretty well-known artists to do their clay work at their facility here, and fire in their giant beehive kilns. It's a really wonderful program. Some of the guest artists (but I think not Jun) used the actual clay pipes, extruded on the biggest extruder you have ever seen. Susannah Israel was one of the first guest artists, and she carved the clay pipes and painted them with underglazes. They were pretty impressive too. Our little clay club went for a tour to see her working.

Jun Kaneko was here for one of those guest artist sessions, and I got to go to the reception. It was really amazing. Standing in those kilns surrounded by his giant heads, it was awesome.

One thing to remember though, is that he doesn't do the work alone. He has a number of assistants working with him, but he directs the work. He was in and out of town over many months working on these pieces.

Earlier, I didn't know he was anywhere near Pittsburg, but one day I saw a man at the grocery store and thought, gee, that man looks a lot like Jun Kaneko! But we have a lot of international faculty and students at the local university, so I didn't give it much thought. Little did I know.

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#8 Chantay

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:10 PM

Shirley, are you saying that there are places that still use clay sewage pipes? I was just thinking about this the other day and wondered if it was still done. I know they can really last a long time. My parents house, 75 yrs old, has clay sewage pipes still in use.
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- chantay

#9 SShirley

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:34 PM

Shirley, are you saying that there are places that still use clay sewage pipes? I was just thinking about this the other day and wondered if it was still done. I know they can really last a long time. My parents house, 75 yrs old, has clay sewage pipes still in use.
-chantay



Yes, but I think most of these are for big municipal water departments. These things are enormous. But I think they make smaller stuff and septic tanks and things like that too.

#10 Diana Ferreira

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

thanks for this interesting thread!
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#11 Benzine

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:25 PM

I saw this topic a while back, and never got around to posting.

Anyway, those pieces are impressive to say the least. Is that large enclosure, where he is working on one of the sculpture, the kiln?

Also, I'm with Cass, when it comes to the surface decoration. I've seen some very impressive ceramic pieces, with a very "Painted" look to them. There's nothing wrong a with a little mixed-media.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#12 Denice

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

The pipe extruder manufacturing in Pittsburg is awesome, I order some terracotta pipe from them for my spanish mission house when we were building. When I was looking for this pipe I found that most manufacturers had closed across the US. The 3' pipe was only 10.00 each custom made but the shipping was outrageous so we decided to pick them up. When we pulled up to the factory a mountain of broken pipe shards greeted you and then there was another mountain of shards inside the building where they processed them for reuse. They were closing for the day so we didn't get to see more of the plant but what we did see blew us away.




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