Mako Fujimura tells Christian artists that this is the time to get creative and use their talents for God’s glory.
In one of his YouTube videos, the Japanese-American visual artist said, “If you’re an artist, musician, writer, poet, this is a critical moment.” He mentioned that the Black Plague gave rise to the Renaissance where artists in Europe produced their great works. William Shakespeare wrote three of his famous tragedies: King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra during the bubonic plague in 1606.
If you’re an artist, musician, writer, poet, this is a critical moment. —Mako Fujimura, Christian artist
“What artists can do to internalize the pain and the fractures of the world and the dark realities of the world can articulate hope for us throughout future generations,” Fujimura said.
He advised his audience to look at quarantine protocols as a blessing, reports the Australian Christian newspaper, Eternity News. Time spent in isolation is a great time to be appreciative of the people and things around us. “Let’s not forget to enjoy what is given to us, as well as face the challenges and care and pray for those who are in need. Both beauty and mercy is necessary today more than ever.”
A Christian artist, Fujimura is known for his paintings which combine the traditional nihonga tradition and a New York-style abstraction. Nihonga is a slow process of pulverizing semiprecious stones to get colored pigments. The pigments are painstakingly layered with water-based glue to a specialty Japanese paper. For Fujimura, it is a spiritually rewarding experience.
“But that process is really healing to me. And I’m often sitting, seeing the magic that happens on the surface of my paintings, and it turns my heart into a place of reflection and prayer,” he shared.
He urged other artists to be inspired even during the pandemic. “I want to encourage you today to think about generative living in the restrictions we are facing. This is a time for creative imagination to be given wings. This is a time when we share the deepest realm of our beings with each other.”
Fujimura served as a US Presidential appointee to the National Council of the Arts from 2003-2009 and was a Visiting Scholar/Artist for the Fall term of 2019 with the School of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. The university said in a statement, “Mako’s work as a painter and a writer is a profound illumination, and makes vital contributions toward healing the heart of the world.”
Fujimura gives all praises to God for his talents. “I’ve never wanted to be an art star,” he said. “The God of the Bible is an artist, perhaps the only true artist.”