Christianity through Arts and Creativity

In this second installment of “Jesus and the marketplace” series, Makota Fujimura is a Christian artist who paints Christ-centred arts. He lives and works in New York City, and is an elder in a Presbyterian Church.

Makoto FujimuraThere are no crosses in Makoto Fujimura’s paintings. No images of Jesus gazing into the distance, or serene scenes of churches in a snow-cloaked wood.

. . . After the 2001 terrorist strikes on the World Trade Centre, three blocks from Fujimura’s home, his work explored the power of fire to both destroy and purify, themes drawn from the Christian Gospels and Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.”

“I am a Christian,” says Fujimura, 46, who founded the non-profit International Arts Movement to help bridge the gap between the religious and art communities. “I am also an artist and creative, and what I do is driven by my faith experience.

“But I am also a human being living in the 21st century, struggling with a lot of brokenness _ my own, as well as the world’s. I don’t want to use the term ‘Christian’ to shield me away from the suffering or evil that I see, or to escape in some nice ghetto where everyone thinks the same.”

By making a name for himself in the secular art world, Fujimura has become a role model for creatively wired evangelicals. They believe that their churches have forsaken the visual arts for too long – and that a renaissance has begun.

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