Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 1 (Winter 2015) - Page 106

INTERVIEW WITH MAKOTO FUJIMURA - Metzger I speak about this in my Culture Care1 book, but we have to remember that God does not need us or the creation. God created out of gratuitous love. Artists are a species that still retain this essential character trait of God. PLM: In viewing the Golden Sea documentary (which can be found at the homepage of Makoto Fujimura’s website referenced earlier), I was struck by how the beauty of brushes and pigments moves you. Your subject matter moves you. Life moves you. There is a very real sense in which you never put down your brush. It is as if you are always observing, always painting, even as you engage in conversations with people, whoever they may be. Where does your curiosity come from? How important is curiosity and a sense of wonder to art and to life itself? MF: In every artist, there is a spark of her “first love.” It’s that moment of magic when you drew something and it came alive, or played a piece on the piano and it sank deep within your soul. Curiosity comes from the gratuitous love of God; God made us curious beings as part of God’s essential character, as part of God’s outward love. Matthew chapter 6 depicts Jesus as a curiosity-filled teacher of God’s law. PLM: You have spoken of how good art keeps us from commodifying people. How so? How does this relate to your emphases on innovation and the need to guard against reductionism, instead viewing life in an open way? Your art evokes a sense that infinite possibilities emerge from the canvas and life. How might this sense help us guard against commodifying faith and attempting to commodify God? MF: Materialistic reductionism leads to idolatry. Therefore to worship, we must all become an “artist” of faith. PLM: I believe that Claude Monet saw his art as a bridging of East and West, as in his work Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies and garden in Giverny. In what ways do you see your art as a fusion of East and West? MF: My art may be a “fusion,” but I resist that category/label, as well. I hope my art transcends/embraces both traditions that I love. PLM: I have heard you speak of Simone Weil, Emily Dickinson, Georges Rouault, and your father as key influences on your life. How have they influenced you? Are there other influences you would like to mention? 1. Makoto Fujimura, Culture Care (Fujimura Institute and International Arts Movement, 2014). 105