Two large ceramic sculptures by Jun Kaneko now greet visitors to the No. 1 Capitol District building (home to the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum [HiSAM] along with several other state offices). Previously on display in the “EMPHASIZED: eye on scale” exhibit in the State Art Museum (2017-2020), these sculptures are now permanently installed at the Richards Street entrance to the building.
Each sculpture weighs 1,800 lbs and are on custom built steel stands. June Kaneko has been an active artist for over five decades. Known foremost for his ceramic art, he also works in glass, painting, set designs for operas, and large-scale public commissions. Kaneko’s work resides in hundreds of prestigious museums and private collections worldwide. These sculptures are two of the eight pieces by Kaneko in the SFCA’s Art in Public Places Collection, which includes the three “Tropical Sounds” sculptures at the Waikīkī Aquarium. “Untitled Head I”, with clearly defined facial features, represents the reality of humankind and “Untitled Head II”, with subtle facial features, reflects the spirit of humankind.
SFCA Executive Director Jonathan Johnson enjoys having sculptures of this scale and prominence available to the general public and has been planning to have the sculptures installed on the lawn since the acquisition of the sculptures in 2017.