Mt. Vernon, IL
Kaneko is at play with two fundamentals of art-making: scale and mark-making. Scale plays an important role in Kaneko’s thinking as he imagines how his large-scale (and small-scale) artworks will appear in different spatial settings. Mark-making critically relates to space and the intervals of space between objects.
Throughout his years of practice, Kaneko always took into account the Japanese principle of Ma. Kaneko has said that the concept permeates everyday living in Japan. The term means “spirit” and Kaneko interprets this to mean that the space and scale between things has a consciousness. The Japanese conception of Space called MA may compare favorably to the Western conception of “Sense of Place.”
Mark-making is a primordial activity of humans; maybe the primordial function. We mark with our hands, words, our very breaths. Mark-making is one the ways we define ourselves as living, breathing creatures inhabiting this planet. Prehistoric peoples made marks. Children today love mark-making. Sophisticated artists have taken mark-making to the heights of fine art culture and value. At every sphere of culture, we mark. Kaneko: “I find it difficult to leave the surface of my sculpture as is. I almost have a need to paint on it.”
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.