From an art practice that encompasses ceramics, sculpture, painting, glass, theatre design, installations and architectural-scale projects, Jun Kaneko is able to draw together a diverse range of powerful visual and technical resources in the production of his work. This large dango, a Japanese term for steamed dumplings, owes its commanding presence to Kaneko’s planning skills, production methodology and articulation of surface design. Its comforting shape is overlaid and negated by dark, irregular voids in a manner that, from afar, evokes the Suprematist graphics of Kasimir Malevich. Up close, awed and engulfed by the scale and physicality of this monolithic object, we are able to read Kaneko’s inky voids as painted episodes of darkness and light, their edges bleeding cobalt through a lustrous glaze. This ceramic architecture places us as participants in Kaneko’s floating world that drifts between Japanese indigenous art and the pleasures of abstraction.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra