Since my wife and I have moved to Denver to begin Park Church Denver, our elders have always had a desire to be a church where the arts can fully flourish. I share with this desire, although I do not possess the artistic gift that can accurately evoke thought.
Especially when it come to Jesus or the Scriptures.
Contemporary art meets the Bible.
My eyes were satisfied when viewing the works of Makoto Fujimura.
“We, today, have a language to celebrate waywardness, but we do not have a cultural language to bring people back home.”
Mr. Fujimura has brought one of the most treasured manuscripts in the world, the Bible, and illuminated the words with his modern approach.
Renowned artist and writer Makoto Fujimura is not shy about the importance of his latest project. “Whether I like it or not, this is what I will be remembered by,” Fujimura asserts. “I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that it is a commission of the decade, if not more,” says Valerie Dillon, whose Dillon Gallery is Fujimura’s main exhibitor.
The commission is an illuminated manuscript published by Crossway, to commemorate the four hundred year anniversary of The King James Bible, set to be released January 2011. The leather-bound English Standard Version of the Bible, printed with a six-color metallic process, will comprise the four Gospels as designed and illustrated by Fujimura. Five major new works, painted in the artist’s Manhattan studio, will be the volume’s main images, making this the first such manuscript to feature abstract contemporary art in lieu of traditional representational illustrations. It is this unprecedented marriage of a modern, usually secular art form with ancient scripture that most interests Fujimura, who aims to depict “the greater reality that the Bible speaks of… for the pure sake of integrating faith and art in our current pluralistic, multicultural world.”
You can also download an excerpt of The Four Gospels.
I am encouraged to see churches throughout the country welcome this form of expression. So long have churches shunned artists and their ability to communicate. Thanks be to God for artists that communicate Christ well.
Follow Makoto Fujimura on Twitter @iamfujimura
–Follow me on Twitter @Armando923