Jul 31, 2013
Medium Man | American Craft Council
It’s March 17, 2006, and the applause in Omaha’s Orpheum Theater is deafening. The stage lights have just darkened, ending the world premiere of a new production of Madama Butterfly.
The performers and conductors take their bows. Then, slowly, from the side of the stage, comes the man responsible for making the night – Jun Kaneko. The artist is dressed in black, a stark contrast to his costume and set designs, which are dominated by in-your-face reds, blues, greens, and yellows. He smiles, shyly brushing tousled gray hair from his face; while he’s no stranger to success, a standing ovation is a new experience. Best known for his large, whimsical ceramic sculptures, Kaneko has work in more than 70 museum collections; he has executed more than 50 public art commissions. But this is his first foray onto the stage.