More Sculptures “Headed” for San Francisco’s Civic Center this Summer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415-252-4638 E: Kate.Patterson@sfgov.org
Jun Kaneko Studio
Tel: 402-341-4523 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOW ON VIEW
A Temporary Exhibition of Sculptures from Artist Jun Kaneko’s Critically Acclaimed HEADS Series in San Francisco’s Civic Center
SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2012 – The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is thrilled to announce Rena Bransten Gallery’s installation of two 6-foot ceramic heads by acclaimed artist Jun Kaneko in front of the War Memorial Opera House on Van Ness Avenue. This temporary public art installation coincides with the premiere of Kaneko’s production design of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at San Francisco Opera opening on June 13. Kaneko’s HEADS will be on view through November 2012.
“This installation is a wonderful example of how public and private entities can work together to enhance the urban environment through the arts,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “We are grateful to Rena Bransten Gallery for installing the sculptures in a location where everyone in the city can enjoy them.”
San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley commented, “the whimsical, colorful Kaneko heads enliven the entry to the War Memorial Opera House and give a sense that magic and beauty lie within.”
Designed to complement one another, the two ceramic heads will be installed facing each other at the bottom of the War Memorial Opera House’s front steps. The faces of the sculptures, one painted a bright primary yellow and the other red and featureless, emerge from a playful pattern of black and white polka-dots. Jun first created pairings of HEADS in 1994 in his studio emerging from his curiosity about eastern philosophy and exploring the additional layer of visual dialogue the human figure brings to his creative discourse and continues to explore this sculptural form in greater scale and other mediums.
“Jun Kaneko’s public space projects engage and surprise with monumental scale and vivid glazing. He is perhaps the only artist I can think of to hand make and hand glaze objects of this magnitude. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the enthusiastic support of the Arts Commission, the San Francisco Opera, civic leaders and the artist to bring these amazing pieces to San Francisco,” said Rena Bransten.
Kaneko has always worked in a variety of media including ceramics, painting, printmaking, drawing, bronze and glass. He often invokes the concept of “ma” in his work, a 2,000-year-old Japanese word that describes a space or distance between thoughts, things, sounds and actions, or the conscious moment between thought and action. Like musical notes, two marks on paper derive meaning from the space between them. One sees the influence of “ma” in Kaneko’s San Francisco installation. The artist carefully chose the location and the proximity of the sculptures to each other and the building.
Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, Kaneko is an internationally renowned artist acclaimed for his pioneering work in ceramics. His artwork appears in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually, and is included in more than 70 museum collections. He has realized over 40 public art commissions in the United States and Japan and is the recipient of national, state and organization fellowships and honorary doctorates. San Francisco is the proud owner of two Kaneko sculptures, which are located at San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 1. Other Jun Kaneko HEADS have been exhibited at Philadelphia’s City Hall by its Public Art Program and by the New York City Parks Public Art Program on the Park Avenue Malls from June through November 2008 installed in the landscaped medians at 52nd, 53rd, and 54th Streets.
About the Public Art Program
The Arts Commission’s Public Art Program was established by the City Arts Enrichment Ordinance in 1969 as one of the first of its kind in the country. The Public Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the lives of the city’s residents, visitors and employees. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, designers, City staff, officials and community members during the design of City projects in order to develop public art that is specific to the site and meaningful to the community. SFAC Public Art website: www.sfartscommission.org/pubartcollection
About Rena Bransten Gallery
Founded in 1974, the Rena Bransten Gallery is dedicated to promoting emerging artists, bringing internationally renowned artists to the San Francisco Bay Area, and encouraging the growth of museum collections. The Gallery continues to enjoy participating in the City’s dynamic and fluid culture. www.renabranstengallery.com
About San Francisco Opera’s The Magic Flute
San Francisco Opera presents Mozart’s The Magic Flute in a vivid new production with sets and costumes designed by visual artist Jun Kaneko, June 13 through July 8 at the War Memorial Opera House. Endlessly inventive, charmingly fantastical and utterly unique, Mozart’s beloved final opera is a profound yet lighthearted tale of romantic love, spiritual transcendence and the beguiling art of birdcatching. Sung in English, The Magic Flute brings together an acclaimed ensemble cast including Heidi Stober, Alek Shrader, Nathan Gunn, Kristinn Sigmundsson and Albina Shagimuratova and is conducted by Rory Macdonald and directed by Harry Silverstein. The bold, colorful production created by Kaneko integrates whimsical costumes and conceptual graphic projections.
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