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The work of Jun Kaneko located at WebSite seems to be a manifestation of abstract art. Examples of the artist’s work under categories such as heads, dangos, wall slabs, and chunks all incorporate geometric shapes, curved or straight lines as well as a variety of colour designs that do not follow anything “natural.” The term “natural” within this context refers to shapes, symmetry, and overall design elements that follow shapes and elements found within nature. For instance, the statue of David by Michelangelo, The Thinker by Auguste Rodin and the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci all depict natural forms, and the art attempts to get as close to “the real thing” as possible.
In comparison, the work of Kaneko is far from natural since it incorporates design elements, colour schemes, and a variety of odd designs that do not follow a natural pattern. However, it should be noted that while there is no natural pattern to the designs, they do depict geometric consistency. What this means is that the various shapes and patterns in the ceramic work of Kaneko are not haphazardly placed as seen in the work of Jackson Pollock or Picasso, rather, there is a definite method to the madness wherein the designs do have a certain degree of planning involved in their inception and implementation. From an aesthetic standpoint, though, the work of Kaneko can be considered as pleasing to the eye. While it may be true that it does not follow natural contours, the geometric patterns are quite interesting and thus lend each piece a certain strange beauty.
Understanding the Inspiration behind Each Piece
In trying to interpret the inspiration of the author behind each piece, it is first important to note that Jun Kaneko is a Japanese artist. This is particularly important to take note of since Cole states that artists often draw the greatest inspiration for their work from their culture and natural environment (Cole, 25). A cursory examination of Japanese culture reveals that the concept of conformity is prevalent within their society. Under the Japanese context of conformity, people are expected to conform to their role in society and work towards the improvement of the community. This has manifested in the people they’re becoming very ordered and disciplined.
Within such a context, it can be seen that Kaneko is attempting to express this level of conformity in his art, especially in the case of the various head based ceramic sculptures that he has created. From a certain perspective, it can be assumed that the use of geometric patterns is meant to be a metaphor for the orderliness that is inherent in Japanese society yet their use in an abstract context is also meant to symbolize that orderliness can become so much more. It can be indicative of the artist’s belief that there is more to living than merely having an ordered way of life and that creativity and self-expression can still be manifested despite the need for self-discipline that is a hallmark of Japanese society.
Overall, I have to say that the work of Kaneko is quite good and pleasing to the eye. Its combination of geometric patterns and interesting colour choices livens up the piece and makes it a sight to behold. I do have to admit though that at times his colour and shape choices are quite weird (as seen in the case of the Tanuki sculpture he made).
Cole, Karlsandagata. “What Does An Artist Investigate?.” School Arts 113.1 (2013): 25. Print.