New Documentary Explores Artistic Life of Omaha’s Jun Kaneko

News Release Date: 
January 26, 2017

For Immediate Release

New Documentary Explores Artistic Life of Omaha’s Jun Kaneko

LINCOLN, Neb (Jan. 26, 2017) – “Kaneko’s Monumental Risk” will take viewers around the globe following world-renown Omaha artist Jun Kaneko as he pushes the boundaries of ceramics, bronze, glass and steel in places like San Francisco; Kyoto, Japan; New York; Shanghai; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The new one-hour documentary will air at 7 p.m. CT, Saturday, Feb. 11, and at 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17, on NET.

Regardless of where one sees Jun Kaneko’s work – from Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket or Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum to the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney or cities around the globe – his style and massive scale are unmistakably Kaneko. Jun Kaneko

Kaneko likes to take risks. Monumental risks. His restless artistic imagination drives his fusion of Japanese traditional art and American modernism into massive projects. These include 14-ton ceramic sculptures, 80-foot tall stained glass towers and now, perhaps his most daring new adventure, the creation of three hours of projected animation on seven screens for the San Francisco Opera’s new $5 million production of Mozart’s “Magic Flute.”

But, will his abstract minimalism work with one of the world’s favorite 18th century German operas? “Kaneko’s Monumental Risk” will take viewers on this journey to the opera’s premiere where 3,000 patrons decide.

Emmy award-winning Nebraska filmmaker Joel Geyer has been following Kaneko off-and-on for 25 years. Geyer explored the evolution of Kaneko’s life adventures from the bombing of his childhood home in Nagoya, Japan, during World War II, settling in Omaha in the mid-1980s and up to the San Francisco opera’s premiere.

“For everyone who has enjoyed a Japanese garden, they already have insight into Jun Kaneko's creative soul,” Geyer said. “A Japanese garden doesn't look carefully designed. It looks natural. But it isn't. That natural look is carefully crafted to embody a heightened sense of nature. It also is a perfect place for meditation and reflection, even if you don't meditate.

“Kaneko's work captures a simple, almost childlike sense of awe of actually seeing yourself as part of nature as part of the universe. It is almost as if he, Jun Kaneko, isn't creating the work, but he is simply channeling nature's creative force. As he says, ‘It is a way of living. A way of Being’,” explained Geyer.

Kaneko’s Monumental Risk Saturday, February 11, 7pm CT NET

Geyer, executive director, Geyer Group Productions, has been producing, directing and writing national award-winning PBS documentaries, which include “Buffett and Gates Go Back to School” and the American Masters film “Willa Cather: The Road Is All,” for more than 30 years.

Learn more about “Kaneko’s Monumental Risk” during NET’s art and entertainment radio show “Friday LIVE” at 9 a.m. CT, Friday, Feb. 10, on NET radio.

NET operates the statewide public service network which includes NET Television, NET Radio, NET Learning Services and NET Technology Services. To learn more, visit netNebraska.org.

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CONTACT: Sandi Karstens, 402-470-6578, skarstens@netNebraska.org

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