Gallery: Golden Sea

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Golden Sea
Golden Sea
Mineral Pigments and Gold on Kumohada, 80x64", 2011, Collection of Roberta and Howard Ahmanson
Makoto Fujimura | Walking on Water

Gallery: Walking on Water

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Walking on Water - Flight
Walking on Water - Flight
Mineral pigments on Canvas, 84x132", 2012
Walking on Water - Azurite
Walking on Water - Azurite
Mineral Pigments on polished gesso, 82"x132", 2012
Walking on Water - Banquo’s Dream
Walking on Water - Banquo’s Dream
Oyster Shell White, Quartz and Gold on Linen

"Walking on Water - Banquo's Dream" was inspired by watching my second son C.J. play Banquo at Bucknell University's production of Macbeth.  I began the painting soon after, and finished the work as Sandy blew over my new studio in Princeton area.  Sandy caused a prolonged power outage, but Nihonga technique, fortunately, is pre-electricity, so I was determined to continue to work.

 

A heavey summons lies like lead on me,
And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose!

Banquo, in Macbeth

Makoto Fujimura | Olana - Matthew Six

Gallery: Olana - Matthew Six

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Olana - Matthew Six
Olana - Matthew Six
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
60 x 48"
2007-2009
Makoto Fujimura | The Four Gospels Frontispieces

Gallery: The Four Gospels Frontispieces

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Charis-Kairos (The Tears of Christ)
Charis-Kairos (The Tears of Christ)
80x64", Mineral Pigments, Gold on Belgium Linen

Charis (Grace) Kairos (Time), takes the methods I developed for my Soliloquies series which exhibited my large scale works with Modernist master Georges Rouault's paintings.  Taking Rouault's indelible images as a cue, I decided to start with a dark background, to illumine the darkness with prismatic colors.  I write in the introduction to the Four Gospels' project by Crossway:

 

"I painted the five large-scale images that illuminate this volume, The Four Holy Gospels, using water-based Nihonga materials (Japanese style painting), with my focus on the tears of Christ (John 11) - tears shed for the atrocities of the past century and for our present darkness."

Matthew - Consider the Lilies
Matthew - Consider the Lilies
Mineral Pigments, Gold, Platinum and Sumi on Kumohada, 48 x 60 inches

Consider the Lilies is done with over sixty layers of finely pulverizes precious minerals (azurite and malachite), oyster shell white, and painted with sumi ink that has been cured for over a century, as well as gold and platinum powders, mixed with Hide glue (Japanese Sanzenbon, which is no longer being made), to adhere the minerals onto a hand-pulled Japanese paper.  The painting depicts Easter lilies, with triumvirate flowers opening up, but with the suggestion that even these common lilies are transformed into a post-Resurrection, generative reality.

 

"Consider the Lilies" will be printed by Rhino Press in New York City, to be released by Dillon Gallery starting later in April, 2011 as a limited edition (100) 32x26" prints, hand touched by the artist with gold and platinum.  Please contact Dillon Gallery for more information.

Mark - Water Flames
Mark - Water Flames
Mineral Pigments, Gold, Cochineal on Kumohada, 48 x 60 inches

Water Flames series depict the way in which flames not only consumes, but ultimately sanctify.  These works recall the visual language of the apocalyptic, moody paintings of the American artist Mark Rothko (1903-1970) - using Japanese vermillion, gold, platinum powders and cochineal (made from India's dye made from an cochineal insect).  The work moves our gaze upward, even as we stand in the ever-expanding Ground Zero conditions of the world.

Luke - Prodigal God
Luke - Prodigal God
Mineral Pigments, Gold, Platinum on Kumohada,48 x 60 inches

The title of this work, based on a well known tale of the lost son in Luke 15, is taken's from my pastor Timothy Keller's book, Prodigal God.  The visual complexity of the work depicts my own inner struggle between legalism of religion (the elder brother) and the "recklessly spendthrift" nature of the Father's love in the story.  In the art world and culture in which we celebrate the wayward, but not having the language to bring the lost (myself included at times) back home, these series of works probe deeply into the tension that exist within my heart to love deeply - in spite of the legalism and the waywardness that prevails in the wider culture.

John - In the Beginning
John - In the Beginning
48x60" Mineral Pigments, Gold on Belgium Linen

This work visually echoes the "Charis-Kairos" cover piece in the same way that the beginning of the Gospel of John echoes the beginning of Genesis.  The first chapter of the Gospel of John speaks not only about the origin of all creation in Jesus, but also about the mystery behind creation.  Art needs to inhabit such mysteries - to open us up to the generative reality of the deeper questions that lie behind our questions.

The portion of John - In the Beginning was done as a live performance, as part of an ongoing collaboration with Jazz percussionist/composer Susie Ibarra (see portion of Plywood documentary here)

Charis-Kairos (Tears of Christ), Mineral Pigments on Belgium Linen, 64x80Matthew - Consider the Lilies, Mineral Pigments, Gold, Platinum, Sumi on Kumohada Paper, 36x50Mark - Water Flames, Mineral Pigments, Cochineal, Gold on Kumohada Paper, 36x50Luke - Prodigal God, Mineral Pigments, Oyster Shell white, Gold, Platinum on Kumohada paper, 36x50John - In the Beginning, Mineral Pigments, Gold on Belgium Linen
The Four Gospels
Charis-Kairos (Tears of Christ), Mineral Pigments on Belgium Linen, 64x80"

The Four Gospels paintings were commissioned by Crossway Publishing for the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible.  They were imbedded in the anniversary edition of the Bible as frontispiece paintings to each of the gospels.

Makoto Fujimura | Baylor University (Martin Museum) Exhibit

Gallery: Baylor University (Martin Museum) Exhibit

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Olana - Matthew Six
Olana - Matthew Six
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
60 x 48"
2007-2009
Water Flames - Red II
Water Flames - Red II
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
Golden Fire
Golden Fire
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
89x132"

Golden Fire was exhibited in 2007 in Chelsea, New York City.  It is in the background of Ibarra&Fujimura: Live Painting in New York. Greg Wolfe wrote:  

That the culminating work to this sequence should be a monumental piece entitled “Golden Fire” has a sort of epic inevitability about it.  Gold is the quintessential element we think of as requiring the refiner’s fire.  It is a heavy substance that somehow lifts into what the writer Milan Kundera has called “the unbearable lightness of being.”  This element, found deep within the earth and created thought he turbulent processes of change, becomes something that symbolizes the eternal and unchanging.  Gold is the possession of kings, and yet we often speak of the common person as having a heart full of it.

Soliloquies - Genesis
Soliloquies - Genesis
Mineral Pigments on Belgian Linen
80x64"
2009
Soliloquies - Joy
Soliloquies - Joy
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Belgian Linen
80x64"
Soliloquies - Grace
Soliloquies - Grace
Collection of Howard and Roberta Ahmanson
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
66x80"
Soliloquies - Passion
Soliloquies - Passion
Mineral Pigments on Belgium Linen
89 x 66"
2009
ISCP Performance
ISCP Performance
Taylor, Clayton and Lydia Fujimura Trust
Gold, Platinum Powder on Senju Paper
48 x 60"
2007

In 2006, Fujimura was awarded International Studio and Curatorial Program Residency.  This work was painted live as part of collaboration with Susie Ibarra and documented by Plywood Film's Live Painting in New York: Fujimura and Ibarra.

See the trailer for the film here.

Makoto Fujimura | Post 9/11

Gallery: Post 9/11

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12th Night
12th Night
On Loan to Sato Museum
Mineral Pigments, Platinum and Gold on Kumohada
177x176 (diptych)
2008

Twelfth Night was commissioned for a museum tour Nihonga exhibit in Japan (To-ki-Michi, A Survey of Contemporary Nihonga, Ueno Royal Museum, Hakodate Museum, Ishikawa Prefectural Museum, and twelve other museums throughout Japan.) I overlapped a Shakesperian title with 12th, a day after 9/11.  This is an elergy in the form of a weeping cherry, Japanese symbol ephemeral beauty and now my personal symbol of enduring hope during dark times.

Still Point
Still Point
Collection of Howard Lutnik
Mineral Pigments, Gold Powder on Kumohada
89x66"
2003

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Splendor - Ghost
Splendor - Ghost
66x89", Mineral Pigments on Kumohada, Collection of Taylor, Clayton and Lydia Fujimura Trust
Splendor for Kayama
Splendor for Kayama
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada

Fujimura writes in Refractions: a journey of art, faith and culture:

Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) master Matazo Kayama passed away in April of 2004.  When I heard the news, I began a painting called Splendor, which was exhibited in his memory that fall in TriBeCa, New York City...Professor Kayama selected me to be the first artist outside of their traditional curriculum in the prestigious post-MFA program, an extension of lineage that has been in existence since fourteenth-century Japan (I came in as an "outsider," an American with a Japanese National Scholarship.)"

Between Two Waves of the Sea
Between Two Waves of the Sea
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada, 66x89"

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

T.S.  Eliot, Four Quartets

Zero Summer
Zero Summer
Private Collection
Gold, Tarnished Silver, Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
89x66"

Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,

Not in the scheme of generation.

Where is the summer, the unimaginable

Zero summer?

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Still Point - Evening
Still Point - Evening
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada, Collection on Kikkoman Corporation, Tokyo
Still Point - Morning Star
Still Point - Morning Star
Mineral Pigments and Gold on Kumohada
180x180 cm
2003
Makoto Fujimura | Gold

Gallery: Gold

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Golden Fire II
Golden Fire II
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
89x132"

Golden Fire II  was commissioned for a museum tour Nihonga exhibit in Japan (To-ki-Michi, A Survey of Contemporary Nihonga, Ueno Royal Museum, Hakodate Museum, Ishikawa Prefectural Museum, and twelve other museums throughout Japan). Fujimura continues the theme of "Fires of destruction and sanctification" that he began with Water Flames. Golden Fire II is on museum tour throughout Japan currently.

Golden Fire
Golden Fire
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
89x132"

Golden Fire was exhibited in 2007 in Chelsea, New York City.  It is in the background of Ibarra&Fujimura: Live Painting in New York. Greg Wolfe wrote:  

That the culminating work to this sequence should be a monumental piece entitled “Golden Fire” has a sort of epic inevitability about it.  Gold is the quintessential element we think of as requiring the refiner’s fire.  It is a heavy substance that somehow lifts into what the writer Milan Kundera has called “the unbearable lightness of being.”  This element, found deep within the earth and created thought he turbulent processes of change, becomes something that symbolizes the eternal and unchanging.  Gold is the possession of kings, and yet we often speak of the common person as having a heart full of it.

Golden Pine
Golden Pine
Taikoo Place, Hong Kong
Mineral Pigment and Gold on Kumohada
1999

This commission, using over 2000 sheets of gold, is the largest painting that I have done to date. Check out the press release by Swire Co. here http://www.islandeast.com/eng/art/art16.htm (Directions, take the subway to Taikoo Place, and exit at D1 to Taikoo place East, ask for directions inside the East building.  They will give you a map to Oxford House which is three minutes away)

 

And my Refractions entry "A Parable of Roots" here.

Charis
Charis
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
89x132 (diptych)
2008

Exhibited at Dillon Gallery in 2008, and at Gallery Exit in Hong Kong in 2009-2010, Charis uses over a thousand sheets of Japanese gold foils in multiple layers over mineral pigment gestures.  Dillon Gallery press release notes:

"In homage to Willem de Kooning, gold moves in a dispersed, gestured movement. His interest in abstraction is in the essentiation of reality, which he believes, de Kooning was interested in as well. In that search, he creates space that is both flat and spatial. Gold is that paradox: it creates space (by being semi-transparent) and remains flat (by being mirror-like) at the same time. Perhaps the only way that an 'essential flatness' can be full of created space is by using gold."

Two Mercy Seats
Zero Summer
Zero Summer
Private Collection
Gold, Tarnished Silver, Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
89x66"

Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,

Not in the scheme of generation.

Where is the summer, the unimaginable

Zero summer?

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Makoto Fujimura | Soliloquies

Gallery: Soliloquies

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Soliloquies exhibit
Soliloquies exhibit
At Dillon Gallery, 2009

In December of 2009, Dillon Gallery hosted, with Georges Rouault estate, an exhibit pairing Modernist master Georges Rouault with my paintings.  I was speechless when Valerie Dillon first approached me with this idea.  I wrote about this journey in my Refractions entry - Georges Rouault, the First Twentieth First Artist. 

 

Soliloquies - Genesis
Soliloquies - Genesis
Mineral Pigments on Belgian Linen
80x64"
2009
Soliloquies - Grace
Soliloquies - Grace
Collection of Howard and Roberta Ahmanson
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
66x80"
Soliloquies - Passion
Soliloquies - Passion
Mineral Pigments on Belgium Linen
89 x 66"
2009
Soliloquies - Joy
Soliloquies - Joy
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Belgian Linen
80x64"
Makoto Fujimura | Public Commissions

Gallery: Public Commissions

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Golden Pine
Golden Pine
Taikoo Place, Hong Kong
Mineral Pigment and Gold on Kumohada
1999

This commission, using over 2000 sheets of gold, is the largest painting that I have done to date. Check out the press release by Swire Co. here http://www.islandeast.com/eng/art/art16.htm (Directions, take the subway to Taikoo Place, and exit at D1 to Taikoo place East, ask for directions inside the East building.  They will give you a map to Oxford House which is three minutes away)

 

And my Refractions entry "A Parable of Roots" here.

DAMDACO Installation, Leawood, KS
DAMDACO Installation, Leawood, KS
Mineral Pigments, Gold, Silver, Platinum on Kumohada
Still Point - Evening
Still Point - Evening
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada, Collection on Kikkoman Corporation, Tokyo
Makoto Fujimura | Collaborations and Live Paintings

Gallery: Collaborations and Live Paintings

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ISCP Performance
ISCP Performance
Taylor, Clayton and Lydia Fujimura Trust
Gold, Platinum Powder on Senju Paper
48 x 60"
2007

In 2006, Fujimura was awarded International Studio and Curatorial Program Residency.  This work was painted live as part of collaboration with Susie Ibarra and documented by Plywood Film's Live Painting in New York: Fujimura and Ibarra.

See the trailer for the film here.

Le Poisson Rouge
Le Poisson Rouge
Taylor, Clayton and Lydia Fujimura Trust
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
70 x 35"
2009

Painted live with Susie Ibarra Quartet at Le Poisson Rouge, New York City

See live video here.

Makoto Fujimura | Water Flames

Gallery: Water Flames

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Water Flames - Vermillion
Water Flames - Vermillion
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
89x132"
2006
Water Flames - Azurite
Water Flames - Azurite
Mineral Pigments, silver and oyster shell white on Kumohada
89x66"
2005
Water Flames - Red II
Water Flames - Red II
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
Golden Fire
Golden Fire
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
89x132"

Golden Fire was exhibited in 2007 in Chelsea, New York City.  It is in the background of Ibarra&Fujimura: Live Painting in New York. Greg Wolfe wrote:  

That the culminating work to this sequence should be a monumental piece entitled “Golden Fire” has a sort of epic inevitability about it.  Gold is the quintessential element we think of as requiring the refiner’s fire.  It is a heavy substance that somehow lifts into what the writer Milan Kundera has called “the unbearable lightness of being.”  This element, found deep within the earth and created thought he turbulent processes of change, becomes something that symbolizes the eternal and unchanging.  Gold is the possession of kings, and yet we often speak of the common person as having a heart full of it.

Makoto Fujimura | Works in Japan

Gallery: Works in Japan

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Futako Tamagawaen (Twin Rivers of Tamagawa)
Futako Tamagawaen (Twin Rivers of Tamagawa)
Collection of Tokyo University of Art Museum
Gold, Silver, Sumi and Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
180x180cm

Futako Tamagawaen was Fujimura's M.F.A. Thesis painting, and won the purchase prize at Tokyo University of Art in 1989. 

Fujimura's autobiographical book River Grace traces his spiritual and artistic journey, mastering of Nihonga technique lead him to an encounter with the beautiful.

Aijo (Compassionate Love)
Aijo (Compassionate Love)
Collection of Tokyo Contemporary Museum of Art
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
90x250cm (5 panels)
1987

Aijo (Compassionate Love) was exhibited in Fujimura's first solo exhibit in Tokyo at Tamaya Gallery.  As a National Scholar at Tokyo University of Art, he began to incorporate American expression with Japanese tradition of Kacho-ga (Birds and Flowers paintings).  This work, along with other major works of the time, were purchased by Sanbi-Shosho Collection, and later donated to museums.

Fujimura writes in River Grace, an autographical essay of faith and art:

Painted in 1987, Aijo was based on a Japanese folk tale of the world's first couple. In this tale, their "Adam and Eve" were born attached at their backs.  They were always together, but they could not see each other's faces.

The Four Doors
The Four Doors
Collection of Yamaguchi Prefecture Museum of Art
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
Water Tree
Water Tree
Collection of Sato Museum
Mineral Pigments, Platinum and Gold on Kumohada
1993
Columbine Dreams
Columbine Dreams
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
Still Point - Morning Star
Still Point - Morning Star
Mineral Pigments and Gold on Kumohada
180x180 cm
2003
12th Night
12th Night
On Loan to Sato Museum
Mineral Pigments, Platinum and Gold on Kumohada
177x176 (diptych)
2008

Twelfth Night was commissioned for a museum tour Nihonga exhibit in Japan (To-ki-Michi, A Survey of Contemporary Nihonga, Ueno Royal Museum, Hakodate Museum, Ishikawa Prefectural Museum, and twelve other museums throughout Japan.) I overlapped a Shakesperian title with 12th, a day after 9/11.  This is an elergy in the form of a weeping cherry, Japanese symbol ephemeral beauty and now my personal symbol of enduring hope during dark times.

Makoto Fujimura | Splendor

Gallery: Splendor

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Splendor for Kayama
Splendor for Kayama
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada

Fujimura writes in Refractions: a journey of art, faith and culture:

Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) master Matazo Kayama passed away in April of 2004.  When I heard the news, I began a painting called Splendor, which was exhibited in his memory that fall in TriBeCa, New York City...Professor Kayama selected me to be the first artist outside of their traditional curriculum in the prestigious post-MFA program, an extension of lineage that has been in existence since fourteenth-century Japan (I came in as an "outsider," an American with a Japanese National Scholarship.)"

Splendor - Blue Veil
Splendor - Blue Veil
Collection of Howard and Roberta Ahmanson
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
66x89"
Splendor - Ghost
Splendor - Ghost
66x89", Mineral Pigments on Kumohada, Collection of Taylor, Clayton and Lydia Fujimura Trust
Splendor - Koi
Splendor - Koi
Mineral Pigments
Gold Powder on Kumohada
89x66"
Makoto Fujimura | Four Quartets

Gallery: Four Quartets

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Between Two Waves of the Sea
Between Two Waves of the Sea
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada, 66x89"

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

T.S.  Eliot, Four Quartets

Still Point
Still Point
Collection of Howard Lutnik
Mineral Pigments, Gold Powder on Kumohada
89x66"
2003

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Fire and Rose are One
Fire and Rose are One
Collection of Howard and Roberta Ahmanson
Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
89x66"

And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets (Little Gidding)

Zero Summer
Zero Summer
Private Collection
Gold, Tarnished Silver, Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
89x66"

Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,

Not in the scheme of generation.

Where is the summer, the unimaginable

Zero summer?

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Makoto Fujimura | Images of Grace - Charis and Hours

Gallery: Images of Grace - Charis and Hours

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Sacrificial Grace
Sacrificial Grace
Private Collection
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
90x66"
1997
Tree Grace
Tree Grace
Private Collection
Gold, Silver, Mineral Pigments on Kumohada
1998
48x60"
Grace Psalm
Grace Psalm
Collection of Cincinatti Art Museum
Mineral Pigments, silver, gold on Kumohada
89x66"
1997
Grace Foretold
Grace Foretold
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
Charis
Charis
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
89x132 (diptych)
2008

Exhibited at Dillon Gallery in 2008, and at Gallery Exit in Hong Kong in 2009-2010, Charis uses over a thousand sheets of Japanese gold foils in multiple layers over mineral pigment gestures.  Dillon Gallery press release notes:

"In homage to Willem de Kooning, gold moves in a dispersed, gestured movement. His interest in abstraction is in the essentiation of reality, which he believes, de Kooning was interested in as well. In that search, he creates space that is both flat and spatial. Gold is that paradox: it creates space (by being semi-transparent) and remains flat (by being mirror-like) at the same time. Perhaps the only way that an 'essential flatness' can be full of created space is by using gold."

January Hour - Epiphany
January Hour - Epiphany
76.4x102.8", Mineral Pigments, Gold and Silver on Kumohada, 1997-1998, Collection of The Saint Louis Art Museum
November Hour
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Kumohada
Grace Hour
Grace Hour
Mineral Pigments and Gold on Kumohada
157x122 cm
1999

Currently on exhibit at Sato Museum, Tokyo.