Those of you who have passed in front of the War Memorial Opera House in the past week have likely noticed a beautiful new addition to our Van Ness entrance. Richly colored in red, yellow, blue, black, and white, renowned artist/sculptor Jun Kaneko’s HEADS will be in place throughout the run of the summer opera season and will coincide with the premiere of Kaneko’s production of The Magic Flute
Born in 1942 in Nagoya, Japan, Kaneko came to the United States in 1963 and has lived here ever since. He has maintained his studio in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1990 but travels frequently to create large-scale sculptures and installations, including 30 public art commissions in the United States and Japan.
His work regularly appears in many international solo and group exhibitions, and is included in over 70 museum collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Scripps College, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts. [Left: Installing the first HEAD on Van Ness Avenue. Photo by Cory Weaver]
Kaneko holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art in London.
The Magic Flute
is the third opera Kaneko has designed (following Fidelio and Madama Butterfly
). We are thrilled to present this fantastical production’s premiere and to have Kaneko’s HEADS gracing the Opera House entrance for the summer.
Selected works by Kaneko will also be on display at the Rena Bransten Gallery
until July 21.
[Below: Kaneko poses with his HEADS. Photo by Cory Weaver]
[Right: SF Arts Commission Project Manager Jill Manton, David Gockley, Jun Kaneko, SF Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny and Rena Bransten of Rena Bransten Gallery. Photo by Cory Weaver.]