The Gospel According to Makoto Fujimura

Last night I attended a reception at Azusa Pacific University for Makoto Fujimura, a phenomenal artist who studied the ancient art of Nihonga painting. He created a series of pieces to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. His pieces were amazing! He uses all natural pigments, gold and silver leaf, on either Belgian canvas or his preferred Kumohada paper. I went to the event with Jenny Goto, who created the 8 stellar pieces for Evergreen’s historical project (see my previous post). She was actually trained by Mako in Nihonga in the past, so it was really cool to see Mako’s show after Jenny’s.

The night was mainly rich, upper crust donor types… sprinkled with a few Asian American pastors. At 33, I was the second youngest person there. The first was the daughter of a Fuller professor. Hah! I would say that I may have been the least wealthy, but I think there were a few starving artists in the crowd. hahaha.

Anyway, here are a few shots off my DROID from the show:

Mako did 4 pieces for each of the gospel accounts. My favorite was the Luke piece “prodigal God”, which these women are staring at. Jenny estimates these pieces going for about $60,000!!!
Mako also did illuminations – those fancy letters at the beginning of each chapter – for each of the gospel accounts. They were amazing! They all coordinated with the content of the chapter.

Mako also gave a short talk about “culture care”… how the church can engage culture and the arts. It was an outstanding talk! I will touch a little on it in my upcoming theological post on Art & the Church. Stay tuned!

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