I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to sit down and talk with renowned artist Makoto Fujimura, the artist behind The Four Holy Gospels. It was especially encouraging and fascinating to hear about the way in which the Lord drew Mako to himself. (Hint: pray for the people listed in letters from missionaries!) And I was personally instructed by the ways in which he counseled folks (like me) who appreciate art but don’t fully “get it” but want to serve and encourage artists.
Here’s the video, followed by a rough outline of our conversation:
00:00-2:00 What is an illuminated Bible?
2:00-2:45 Why was this Fujimura’s most “exhausting and “exhilarating” project?
2:45-4:55 Why does he think this will be the project he will be remembered for?
4:55-5:55 Brief overview of Fujimura’s life before he became an artist
5:55-8:20 Growing up in a non-religious but highly creative home
8:20-11:50 Being an agnostic moralist at Bucknell, and the impact of the KJV and poetry and literature as a preparation for faith
11:50-13:15 Meeting his wife and moving to Japan
13:15-19:30 How the Lord used missionary friends, a pastor, and William Blake’s poem Jerusalem to bring him to faith in Tokyo
19:30-21:30 How unbelieving artists can be haunted by beauty and alienated from the beauty they create when they don’t have room for transcendence
21:30-24:00 His double exile—his conversion and evangelism changed artists’ perception of him, and people in the church didn’t understand the importance of art, and the founding of the International Arts Movement
24:00-27:15 What Fujimura would say to pastors who like art and want to encourage and influence arts but who “don’t really get art.”
27:15-30:55 What Fujimura would say to artists who feel like their creativity is in tension with creedal theology.
30:55-36:00 What Fujimura would say to people who want to be affected by art and to grow in their appreciation for art but don’t know what to do, and how The Four Holy Gospels might help
You can download the MP3 or listen to it below: