Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 1 (Winter 2015) - Page 104

VOLUME 11 NUMBER 1 2015 A SENSE OF WONDER IN ART AND FAITH: AN INTERVIEW WITH MAKOTO FUJIMURA Paul Louis Metzger Makoto Fujimura is an eminent contemporary artist trained in the United States and Japan. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and holds four honorary doctorates. His art appears regularly in numerous exhibits and as part of permanent collections around the world. Some of his most well-known works are Splendor of the Medium, Soliloquies, Images of Grace, and Golden Sea. He was commissioned by Crossway Publishing to illuminate the Four Holy Gospels in commemoration of the four hundredth anniversary of the King James Bible. He is the founder of the International Arts Movement in 1991, was appointed by President Bush to the National Council on the Arts in 2003, and was the recipient of its Chairman’s Medal in 2009. He is also the recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s 2014 Religion and the Arts award, and was recently appointed as the director of Brehm Center at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. The author and illustrator of several books, his forthcoming volume with InterVarsity Press in the U.S. and Sho Publishing in Japan is titled Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering. It will be released with the Martin Scorsese movie Silence next autumn. For more on the artist and his work, please refer to his website: Paul Louis Metzger: In my reflections on what you have said in interviews and conversations, I have been taken by your claim that art is a form of theological inquiry. How so? How does your faith inform your art? How does your art inform your faith? Makoto Fujimura: I never thought to use the word “visual theology” until a theologian friend came over to look at my work during the Four Holy Gospels process of illuminating and said, “You are doing visual theology.” Then, I really had to think about it! If “all truth is God’s Truth,” then there is no endeavor of human activity that cannot have theological import. Despite the unease of Protestant communities toward visual art, we must begin to journey into visual theology. DOI: 103