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Madama Butterfly Jun Kaneko

Madama Butterfly Jun Kaneko


Renowned artist Jun Kaneko’s sculptures and drawings were showcased in a boutique exhibition at The Mint Museum Uptown in 2012.

The exhibition, in collaboration with Jun Kaneko Studio in Omaha, Nebraska, included a selection of Kaneko’s signature Dango sculptures and framed drawings of costume designs for Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The Mint co-hosted special events around Opera Carolina’s production of Madama Butterfly, which also featured Kaneko’s costume and set designs. The exhibition ran through April 28, 2012.

“This project marks an historic collaboration between The Mint Museum and Opera Carolina,” said Carla Hanzal, the Curator of Contemporary Art at the time. “By viewing Kaneko’s sculptures and costume renderings together, one can experience the continuity of form, pattern, and design between these two modes of expression and creation for the artist.”

Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, and moved to the United States in 1963 to study ceramics at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles (now California Institute of the Arts). He later moved to Northern California and studied under pioneering ceramic sculptors Peter Voulkos and Jerry Rothman. Voulkos describes Kaneko’s sculptures as “an amazing synthesis of painting and sculpture…intellectual and playful, technical and innovative.” Kaneko is known for creating large-scale public installations, as well as being represented in major museum collections including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Oakland Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, and Japan’s Wakayama Museum of Modern Art.

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