Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jun Kaneko Sculpture at the Dixon Gardens

The Dixon Gallery building is closed for renovation, so they have installed a sculpture exhibition on the grounds to keep us busy in the meantime. Jun Kaneko is a Japanese-born ceramic artist currently living in the United States. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens website calls this "the most ambitious outdoor sculpture exhibition in Dixon history."

The day I went there was a heat index of 105F, and they provided a fan as I entered:

The sculptures were spaced throughout the gardens. It was a wonderful way to view them. While I was there, a man gave me some helpful tips on photography vantage points. He said he worked there and had taken a lot of photos. That was so thoughtful of him! And I was taking pictures with my old Nikon Coolpix camera, which has some aspects that work better than others (and some that don't work at all), so I needed all the advice I could get.

I'll definitely go back. They are so much fun to see, and they fit in so well in the expansive garden environment.

The Memphis Flyer has been covering the installation. There was an article in May. An article from early June says,
The exhibition features the work of sculptor and ceramicist Jun Kaneko. Kaneko is based in Omaha, Nebraska, where he operates the world's largest non-industrial kiln. ... The sculptures currently occupy sightlines throughout the gardens, drawing attention to sometimes overlooked aspects of the landscape. ... Kaneko's sculptures have to be seen in person to be understood. You have to gaze up at them, stand in their shadow, to get the full effect of Kaneko's fields of colorful glazes, punctuated by excited patterns. Kaneko credits the works' playfulness to time spent in California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Japanese-born artist also says that he draws heavily from Eastern concepts of energy flow.
Memphis Parent Magazine recommends it; the pieces are touchable, after all.

 The sculptures will be here until 11/22, so I can enjoy them for months to come. What a wonderful exhibition to host while the museum is closed!

There is video of an inspiring lecture he gave at the Minneapolis Institute of Art here. You can see him at work and see more of his varied art here:


  1. What a treat to see these. I would sure like to see them in person and can understand why you might visit them again. Sculpture meant to be seen in the round always seems suited to the outdoors to me. Thanks for the pictures - as close as I will get to the real thing.


    1. I'm glad you liked them. They are so large and colorful, and there are so many of them. I was impressed!

  2. Amazing sculptures! They really pop against the foil of the garden greenery. And your photos are really great; what a treat to have some expert advice!

    1. Aren't they striking? I love the colors, and all that green was -as you say- the perfect background.

  3. I can't believe I've been offline for two days and you have THREE new posts. I may never catch up.

    I have a Coolpix L820, and I couldn't be happier with my camera. It is SO much better than any digital camera I've owned in the past. I think the guy gave you some amazing tips, because all these photos are simply STUNNING. Kaneko's sculptures are beautiful. I appreciate color and his are truly colorful. I could enjoy that garden anytime, except maybe in the heat of the day. I am well aware of that heat (and humidity)!

    1. lol I've committed to one post a day. I have posts scheduled months in advance sometimes to keep from posting them more often, but it is hard to keep up with blogs that post several times a day. I used to follow some commercial blogs when they posted just a few times a day, but I've given up on some of them. io9, for example. I love them, but I think they post 1,000 post every day! Well, maybe not that many, but Sheesh! I just can't handle the volume.

      My little Coolpix has some mechanical issues, and it can't get as much into the frame as my daughter's cell phone can. I'm glad you liked these. I did so want to do them justice. :)