Makoto Fujimura | Creating Beauty from Brokenness

Here’s our LIVE podcast with Mako Fujimura at the conference last week!

Makoto Fujimura is a world-renowned artist often counted among the preeminent figures in the “slow art” movement. Yet Fujimura also has a deep connection to the sciences: he double majored in animal behavior and art during his undergraduate degree at Bucknell University and his father Osamu Fujimura was an influential speech scientist. Fujimura reminisces on the roles of art, faith, and science in his childhood; discusses the relationship between these practices today; and presents his vision on how caring for culture can help revive our sense of enchantment with the world by bringing together disparate ways of knowing God’s world.

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I really enjoyed the podcast recording, and was looking at his art online, considering buying a print Here is one source for prints, and tells a little about each: In the Beginning - John Painting by Makoto Fujimura | Saatchi Art

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I loved the bit about Kintsugi – I’d heard something about it before but didn’t know what it was called, so appreciated how that worked into the discussion on redemption.

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God is the Master Kintsugi. Love it!

Reading the transcript gave me this reflection: If everything were perfect, would God get the same amount of glory as He does in reaching into our imperfections and our pain and making something beautiful out of them? What if the hideousness of suffering is necessary for magnifying the beauty of what God has done for us, and will yet do?

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Thank you so much for having Mako at the conference and making the interview a podcast. I learned about him quite a few years ago from the musician Michael Card.
I’ve read a number of Fujimura’s books and really appreciate his development of the concept of Culture Care as well as working movements toward it. He made me aware of James Davidson Hunter’s book “Culture Wars” which has really helped me grasp the depth and breadth (and my participation in and ability to work against) of the problem.
Fujimura Institute, International Arts Movement, Culture Care newsletter and Mako’s videos during lockdowns have all endeared him to me.
Someday, I would be grateful to see his work in person and immurse myself in it. To engage with the art of an artist who overtly requests his guests to sit and be with the work for long periods…to have that invitation and permission to do what I already do…well, that is a very, very fine thing.

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This is an episode I’ll listen to over and over again. There are several ideas that Makoto Fujimura is able to illustrate well (that’s an understatement). First, it really resonated when Mako said, “If love is there at the base of the universe, I need to find it.”
The conversation about time as a function of creation, as a journey that God made us to create with Him in as He brings it to completion, is inspiring.
Culture care provides the language and space for many people in the church who’ve found themselves in between the poles of the culture wars.
Kintsugi shows how we can move forward, accept the broken, and heal the Whole. This imagery sets the beauty and purpose of redemption within God’s aseity. It provides hope, inspires humility as we expect and accept the pieces, and welcome each other to ourselves. (There’s also the growth of all our vocabulary with that word!)
And about the incarnation, I’m going to revisit and search out this concept more and more.
Thank you, BioLogos, for bringing this necessary and wonderful insight from an artist into the repertoire of perspectives on God’s Word and world.
Journey on!

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His work on culture care is what first caught my attention and his joyful determination to work generatively against the culture war. I value his elevation slow processes and his exploration of how to use the time it creates in productive scriptural meditation, worship and communion.

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How can you have a podcast about art with no visuals?

It’s imaginative contemplation :slight_smile:

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It’s weird. Maybe we should turn off the sound.

Well, most podcasts are audio. Guess they would have to use word pictures. You can google the artist, and find out a lot. The link I gave above can get you to some prints of his paintings. I look forward to seeing his work in person if I can get to an exhibit.

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The art referenced in the episode is on the linked page above.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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