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When the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Fred and Pamela Buffet Cancer Center opens next spring, at the forefront will be an installation from local artist, Jun Kaneko.
“…my hope is to give positive energy, that relates to healing too. If you have positive energy everyday, your health condition must be in pretty good shape.”
Speaking in a video last week during a press release about his latest piece, that’s Jun Kaneko, renowned international artist and Omaha native. He’s designing a sculpture for the new cancer center at the university of Nebraska Medical Center, and spoke more about his inspirations.
“Originally, I was approached to think about what the gateway would be for UNMC and we think we found a good spot for maybe a glass tower,” Kaneko said. “So I went out and it’s a beautiful sight, and it fits perfectly. You know, nothing really exists by itself, it gets influenced by the things next to it.”
Before the unveiling, he gave live commentary about the 82-foot structure he’s calling Search.
“I spent about six days straight, every day and night, seven days a week to come up with some idea and I ended up this way”, said Kaneko. “During the design process, Dr. Jim Linder came to see the progress and he said, “this looks like a chromosome, a DNA pattern”, and I didn’t know anything about it.”
The piece is constructed of 120 hand stained glass panels that ended up looking like a DNA pattern. Standing seventy-five feet tall on top of a seven-foot base, it has a twenty-four foot circumference and will light up at night with interior LED diodes.
“He sent me a picture that same day of a chromosome pattern, and I overlaid it on top of my original design and 80% matched.”, Kaneko said. “I couldn’t tell which one was what, it was that close. So, I was happy that subconsciously, I was working with some medical issues.”
In the video, produced by UNMC, Kaneko spoke about the intersection of art and medicine.
Kaneko said, “To me, I want to give positive energy off of my piece. That healing part is a part of it, but the visual enjoyment and other things all come as one package in my approaches to just make something and just say, wow. That is where is starts, that feeling of “wow”, I think that is important for all of us.”
“Search” will be located at the corner of 45th and Dewey Avenue at the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Research Center. It is expected to be completed next spring when the cancer center opens. Kaneko hopes for everyone to “feel their own opinions and energy from the piece.”
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Omaha, NE — One of cinema’s most unique voices is on display in downtown Omaha.
Film Streams continues its Great Directors spotlight series with a collection of works from Belgian film icon Chantal Akerman. Akerman died last October of an apparent suicide and since then, film buffs across the country are rediscovering her lengthy catalogue of work. Perhaps most notable is her film Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles which follows the daily routine of a middle-aged widow. The film runs through Monday, April 25th. Film Streams Found and Director Rachel Jacobson described the impact the film has had on the artform.
“It’s this really jarring, really interesting movie that’s paced and framed and decorated in a way that is pretty mind-blowing,” Jacobson said. “It’s true-to-life and feels like a new art form almost. It’s like she was taking film and saying, ‘Here’s a completely different way to tell a story’. I think it was really important, especially for a woman director, because men have created the traditional form of storytelling in general. (Akerman) took it from her point of view, how she chose to tell a story. It’s really spare and simple but it’s absolutely intense. It’s a movie that really sits with you; I highly recommend it.”
One constant of Akerman’s over the years was her very personal ways to showcase the human condition. On April 29th and May 1st, the theater will screen News from Home, a documentary-like film where Akerman reads over correspondence between her and her mother, chronicling her transition to New York City in 1976. On April 30th and May 2, moviegoers will get a chance to watch Je Tu Il Elle, Akerman’s minimalist feature where she starts as a young woman who leaves self-imposed isolation to embark on a road trip that leads to lonely love affairs with a male truck driver and a former girlfriend.
Jacobson said that one constant of all Akerman’s works is the phenomenon of watching a truly one-of-kind visionary’s work.
“It’s exciting because, even though it’s very slowly paced, it’s incredible to watch because it seems like you’re watching a new form,” she said. “You’re watching this completely original voice that’s not trying to copy any kind of method of rhythm or timing. Also, the story is brutal; it’s really intense. The way that it brings you along, by the end, you are just wiped out; blown away and astonished. It’s a weird mixtures of emotions because you are discovering this new voices, this artist that truly original, but then you are also swept away by the story itself.”
Film Streams’ showcase of the works of Chantal Akerman continues through Friday May 2nd. For more information on the Great Directors program, visit www.FilmStreams.org.