Heads Roll Into Center City, Dumplings on the Side


Maybe you noticed a couple of visitors looking over your shoulder in City Hall courtyard. Way over your shoulder. Two large heads - one checkerboard, the other half pink and half blue - appeared there this week, and, despite any signage to help you make connections, we happen to know where they came from and why they're there.

The 11-foot-high heads are the work of Jun Kaneko. Eleven of his large-scale sculptures will be on view as part of a city-wide exposition of his work. The Opera Company of Philadelphia's Madama Butterfly in October features his costumes and sets. The Locks Gallery on Washington Square opens a Kaneko show in late September. The Philadelphia Museum of Art's Perelman annex takes on four one-ton dumplings by the artist.

More work by the artist is sitting in the lobby of the Kimmel Center, and under very specific circumstances you might even be able to catch a glimpse. First you have to be lucky enough to find a time when the plaza is open. Then you have to hope a security guard doesn't chase you away, which is what happened to me several times during the summer when I made the mistake of trying to hang out there.

I guess the Kimmel is still afraid it might become a real destination. We couldn't let that happen. The arts might become - gulp - popular.