Jun Kaneko


Jun Kaneko, ceramic sculptural artist.



Two dango sculptures by Jun kaneko

Jun Kaneko, 2012



Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942 and went to the USA in 1963. He began studying ceramic art at the Chouinard Institute of Art in California where his focus became drawn to sculptural ceramics. He expanded his studies  in contemporary ceramics with Peter Voulkos in Los Angeles and also Paul Soldner and Jerry Rothman. He has since pursued a dynamic and varied studio practice in painting, sculpture, ceramics and installations, and he’s currently based at his third studio in Omaha, Nebraska. Jun has blazed a trail in ceramic innovation with his pioneering work in the creation of tall and rounded, monolithic glazed structures known as dangos ( Japanese translation – dumplings or rounded form ). This has required the redefining of technical and artistic boundaries as his sculptures are of a size that is challenging in the firing process and for the structural integrity of this type of ceramic form. Some sculptures can weigh in the vicinity of 1000 lbs.  After construction, his work generally takes four months of drying time and can have up to a 37-day firing process. Even larger than his dangos are his human head ceramic sculptures, three of which were on view in 2008 on New York City’s Park Avenue Malls. Kaneko’s work is engaged in serious explorations of order and disorder, simplicity and complexity and deliberate action and spontaneity.

jun kaneko photo portrait

Kanekos’s professor at the University Of California , Peter Voulkos, stated :  “Kaneko’s ceramic works are an amazing synthesis of painting and sculpture. His works are enigmatic and elusive, simultaneously restrained and powerful, Eastern and Western, static and alive, intellectual and playful, technical and innovative”

Kaneko’s exceptional artistic accomplishments in public art, set design, and architectural projects have led to his work  now being displayed in over fifty museum collections throughout the world including Arabia Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Detroit Institute of Arts; Los Angeles County Art Museum; Museum of Art and Design, NY; The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

I think it is truly fantastic to see ceramic sculptures successfully manifested on this scale.




Dango sculpture with a geometric surface pattern - Jun kaneko

Dango ceramic – 2011

  ( Elaine Baker gallery )

3 dango's by Jun kaneko

Locks Gallery


un kaneko sculpture

Jun Kaneko



Dango sculpture installation - Jun Kaneko

Mission Clay Pittsburgh Project

Jun kaneko dango sculpture with a geometric striped pattern

Locks Gallery


Jun kaneko dango installation

This photo exemplifies the bold rhythmic patterns Jun likes to use on the surface decoration of his giant ” 3d canvases “

Monumental Dango sculpture Jun kaneko

Mint Museum – North Carolina


Kaneko on the spatial conceptualization of his work ( interview with Mary Mcinnes)


So when I’m making small piece, I don’t want to give a chance to the viewer to step back and then look around and look at my piece. I just want them to just grab right into it. They look at it. They’re drawn to it. Just go straight into the piece. If that was possible, this viewer is not outside the work anymore. They’re feeling inside the work. Therefore, they can’t compare this and that. They are it.
So that’s why I think, if I did make a small piece to draw people immediately into the piece, I call that a pretty successful piece for me as a small object. And then, I call that a spiritual scale. So that’s my interest. And it goes same way to the large-scale piece, too, in a lot of ways, because as I said, if you start comparing with nature, then the big piece could be just like a dust. So the point to the scale, to make a sense as a visual artist, is just pull them into it. Then, they just don’t have a chance to compare. They will become the thing itself almost.


void dish by Jun Kaneko

Oval galzed ceramic plate – Jun Kaneko

Dango with a spiral swirl motif - Jun kaneko




Striped head ny Jun Kaneko

Kaneko ceramic head – Maui Hawaii

huge sculpture head by Jun kaneko

Philadelphia City Hall – 2009

Geometric patterned dango by Jun Kaneko

Stoneware glazed triangle Dango -2005

‘Spotty’ Dango sculpture – Jun Kaneko

Monumental striped heads by Jum Kameko at Palm Beach

Monumental heads –  Palm Beach County Convention Center.

( Pic by Lauren Lieberman/Lila Photo )Jun kaneko sculptural ceramic art

Jun Kaneko 1991

Locks Gallery

Dango sculpture in blues by Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko at the set design for Puccini's Madam Butterfly

Jun’s set design for Puccini’s Madam Butterfly

Dango public sculpture by Jun Kaneko

Public Dango art at Omaha

Jun Kaneko abstract panel, black on white

Untitled wall slab – Jun Kaneko

Monumental head sculpture in black and white by Jun Kaneko

Ceramic head sculpture – Philadelphia City Hall – 2009

Jun Kaneko Dango sculpture in black and white

Untitled, Dango

oval plate by Jun Kaneko - abstract geometric decoration

Oval Dish

huge head with a spiral patterned face - Jum Kameko

Joslyn Art Museum Sculpture – Jun Kaneko



Kaneko Omaha dango sculpture

Public Dango ceramic art – Omaha



Dango sculpture with stripes and dots - Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko

public dango sculpture by Jun Kaneko

The Nevica Project

Jun Kaneko sculpture 2007

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko monumental sculpture in black and greys

Untitled, 2007   Glazed stoneware. Courtesy of Jun Kaneko and Locks Gallery. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Contemporary sculpture by Jum Kaneko

Untitled, Dango

dango exhibition - Jun kaneko

Washington State University, 2001
Hand-built glazed ceramics, granite sculpture

large striped dango ceramic sculpture by Jun Kaneko

Ceramic Dango sculpture – San Francisco International airport

Jun kaneko violet sculpture

 Hand-built glazed ceramic – Inakigu Restaurant, 2010

Jun Kaneko working in his studio
Pittsburg Project
Mission Clay, Pittsburg Project, 2004-2007

dango sculpture by Jun kaneko

Jun Kaneko Dango Sculpture  2012

Locks Gallery


Pittsburg Project, USA

Kaneko on Park Avenue Installation

Here is the link to Jun Janeko’s website




  1. B Cashman
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    I am looking to collect a Kaneko Dango,please contact me if you have one available.
    Do not want to deal through a gallery would prefer to deal directly with the seller.

  2. Eliane
    Posted May 5, 2021 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Maravilhoso belas obras

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