International Arts Movement Press Release:
Artist & Author Makoto Fujimura Helps The World To See With His Latest Book, Refractions
NEW YORK, NY (January 22, 2009) - As a painter, Makoto Fujimura practices an ancient Japanese technique using coarsely crushed mineral pigments applied to hand-crafted paper stretched over canvases and held in place with cow hide glue. The minerals are like prisms, refracting light and changing the artwork's appearance depending on the light source and angle of the viewer.
In his latest book, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, Fujimura's pen is also like a prism, refracting the light and circumstance of the world around him. The collection of essays, written between 2001-2008, was born out of his experiences as a New Yorker living two blocks from Ground Zero in September 2001. Many have said of Fujimura that he helps them to "see" - beauty, goodness and truth - and this has never been truer than in the pages of his latest book.
Fujimura's reflections on the falling of the twin towers become a meditation on the culture of Japanese teahouses - part history lesson, part aesthetic immersion. His first meeting with Ground Zero Architect
Daniel Libeskind - in line to vote at a public school - turns into an exposition of Hebrews 11:10. A visit to the Fra Angelico exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art leads Fujimura to come up with a five hundred year plan for his life. Fujimura, a Christian, has a unique eye to see glimpses of grace in unusual places, and these ruminations fill the pages of Refractions.
Makoto Fujimura served on the National Council on the Arts from 2003-2008, and was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Chairman's Medal in January 2009. International Arts Movement, a
non-profit art and culture advocacy organization founded by Fujimura in 1991, published his previous book, River Grace. He is represented by Dillon Gallery in New York City.
Media inquiries should be directed to Christy Tennant, Director of Public Relations for International Arts Movement at christy(at)iamny.org or (917) 287-2581.
For wholesale book orders, contact Kris Wallen at 719.531.3588 or kris.wallen(at)navpress.com.
Praise For Refractions:
“An artist with the craftsmanship and global appeal of Makoto Fujimura comes along all too rarely. Mako is a fine writer. I learned, and was provoked and frequently moved by these reflections that through Mako’s eye have become unique refractions.”
— Philip Yancey, author, What’s So Amazing About Grace?
“Like his art, Makoto Fujimura’s essays harbor a depth of luminosity that requires and rewards patient contemplation. This collection is an important contribution to the conversation between faith and art and between art and our beautiful, broken world.”
— Andy Crouch, editor, Christian Vision Project; author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
“At once bold and gracious, these ‘dispatches’ from one of our finest living artists will provoke and inspire the reader at the deepest levels. If ever there were a time when we needed his profound evocation of art as a harbinger of peace in a fractured world, this is it.”
— Jeremy Begbie, Thomas A. Langford research professor of theology, Duke University
“William Blake wrote, ‘They must always believe a lie, who see with, not through the eye.’ Imagine the possibilities if the adverse of that statement were true. How profoundly could those who see ‘through’ the eye perceive the richness and depth of truth. Mako Fujimura has spent a lifetime of seeing ‘through’ the remarkable gift of his eye. He has painted for us, and now, remarkably, he has written for us about the truth he has seen.”
— Michael Card, musician; author; teacher
“These essays, like his paintings, are rich and thoughtful explorations of art’s redemptive power and its place in a violent, broken world. Rarely has a visual artist shed so bright a light on the wellsprings of his work.”
— Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal
“In the pages of this book, you will find the work of a man who loves the Creator of the universe and the art his creation produces. I recommend it.”
— Mark Joseph, author of Faith, God and Rock ‘n’ Roll; columnist, Foxnews.com and the Huffington Post
“Mako’s art reaches from earth to heaven, and so does his poetic prose. His essays on the recent past bring out what a brilliant artist sees and a text-oriented historian might overlook: the texture, color, and poignancy of living in New York after 9/11 and viewing a world laden with both horror and hope.”
— Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief, WORLD magazine; provost, The King’s College
“In these essays, Makoto Fujimura reveals himself to be an artist not only with pigments but also with words. His translucent prose warrants close, meditative reading to capture the subtle meanings refracted through its poetic lens.”
— Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity
“This elegantly penned collection sets a very high bar for future conversations about faith, art, and the hope we all have for the healing of our fractured world. Makoto Fujimura is a tender prophet of beauty and peace. The breadth of his spiritual vision is awe-inspiring.”
— Ian Morgan Cron, senior pastor, Trinity Church, Greenwich Connecticut; author of Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale
“Mako Fujimura’s personal memoir circles on the demands of art and faith and their final inseparability. Refractions weaves a tale of art with the flames of 9/11 flickering in the background.”
— Dale Brown, director, the Buechner Institute, King College
“Mako Fujimura is about making peace. And he has long striven to make peace in his art and life. Fujimura represents a new breed of artists, whose lives match their work in their power to inspire. They remind us just how much we need them to notice the miracles.”
— Reverend Sam Andreades, pastor, Village Church, New York City
“These essays weave a luminous tapestry of observation and insight and they’re a great read. Fujimura the artist has become a national treasure, and with these essays he demonstrates that he is also a serious writer and thinker… artful, moving, and bristling with wisdom.”
— Scot Sherman, director, San Francisco Theological Center
“In these remarkable essays — ‘refractions’ indeed — Makoto Fujimura takes us unflinchingly into what he calls the war zone of the human heart, shedding light along the way on how art, fused with a hope born of a deep religious calling, transforms and redeems.”
— Robert Love Taylor, author of Blind Singer Joe’s Blues
“Expanding upon the writing of Kathleen Norris, Mako Fujimura brings together spiritual reflections on the observed world with the devotion of an accomplished painter to his work. Through lived encounters, Mako traces evidence of healing and signs of God’s beauty and grace. Even in moments that seem to beg for closure, he pleads for a certain openness and wonder. And, offering us a glimpse inside his own art, Mako affirms every person’s human capacity to create and serve.”
— Reverend Susan Johnson, Hyde Park Union Church, Chicago, Illinois