Isn’t it sweet coming home? Familiar smells, landmarks, and relationships generate a warmth and peace in the heart few other things can.
But what if you don’t know how to find home? What if home lies past so many turns in the road and roadblocks that our journey becomes and Odyssey, taking us ten years or more to find home, if ever?
I hereby introduce you to Makoto Fujimura.
He has made it a mission to use an art form intended to express primarily waywardness as a signpost for weary travelers.
He is re-creating the odyssey that most contemporary artists find themselves on. And he brings cultural artifacts into the popular art market for consumption and critique that use a literary form, if you will, of waywardness to illuminate a path. His faith is openly discussed alongside his art because atheist, agnostic, or not critics cannot argue with the beauty he produces from paints and canvas. He has made it in NY, the toughest and most talented art market in the world, and wants to share his story alongside his amazing works with a coherence of being that is hard to find.
Mako founded the International Arts Movement almost 20 years ago to undertake the weighty process of re-humanizing our friends, family and neighbors. A cultural task Mako credits to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Much of contemporary art is about dissection, or finding our commonalities w/the beasts of the animal world, or simply breaking free of community, responsibility, and common conceptions of love. Bronte would likely see our current cultural state much as that of Rochester’s wild, unkempt nature in her novel, requiring unconditional love to bring us back to our humanness. And hence Mako has heard the call and responded faithfully and winsomely.
Just recently Mako jaunted further out the cultural limb he finds himself on, and joined with Crossway Books to Illustrate the four Gospels. I invite you to watch this video profiling his innovative, yet restorative, ancient work.
I imagine asking an artist friend to read a chapter or two of each gospel across from the illustration would be an excellent introduction to how faith and art intersect in the journey towards home. I know for me these two seemingly disparate parts of my life have shown common threads in the last few years. And I am excited to know that there is a vanguard ahead of me opening hearts once again to a world some of the greats like Michelangelo and Beethoven once frequented. This world of faith and work – artwork – that allows men to be whole, real men.
Let’s join Mako in re-humanizing ourselves and those around us. Let’s no longer compartmentalize our lives, as post-Enlightenment Westerners are so apt to do. Let’s freely express who we are in an exceptional way in our art, our work, our play, our home-making, and dare I say it – our worship!