Makoto Fujimura visits Duke

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Monday, April 11, 2011

This past spring, Duke Divinity School and the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies (DAAV) hosted visual artist Makoto Fujimura for a two-day residency March 31 to April 1, 2011.

Fujimura spent the first day of his residency visiting the DAAV. He spoke to Dr. Mark Olson’s class about his experience as an artist in New York City and how to resist the commodification of art for financial profit. He also provided a technical demonstration of his style of painting, Japanese Nihonga, and workshop for Professor Raquel Salvatella de Prada’s class. 

View the video: Makoto Fujimura visits Duke University.

On the second day of his residency, Fujimura spent the day with the Divinity School. He addressed Dr. Jeremy Begbie’s Theology and the Arts course on how rigorous artistic technique can be combined with and informed by the richness of Christian tradition. At a lunchtime session, he described his first-hand experience of 9/11 and the resulting artistic collaborations that sought to “plant a seed of restoration for the downtown community.” 

On his final evening at Duke, Fujimura gave a public lecture on his latest project, “The Four Holy Gospels,” an illuminated edition of the four New Testament Gospels published in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in 1611. He also spoke about how his Christian faith informed this project, exploring the interplay of art and faith in a broader contemporary context. 

Fujimura's visit was made possible through a grant from The Vice Provost for the Arts and the Council for the Arts.

Learn more about Fujimura in an interview on Faith & Leadership.