Friday Morning Coffee #44: When Art Inspires Worship

We spent all of last week in Pennsylvania with our families. Scott and I are fortunate that "going home" for both of us is basically the same place - the same county, at least. So we make the drive - back to the land of farm fields and silos, the purple-blue Appalachian Mountains like sleeping sentinels in the distance, the place where people still seem to have time to stop and talk a bit. It's not a perfect place, but it is in many ways idyllic. And we'll never shake our fondness for it. 

fujimura exhibit.jpg

While we were there, we did something that Scott and I have wanted to do for a long time. One of our favorite artists - Makoto Fujimura - had several paintings installed in a new museum in Washington, DC. So, we ventured down with my in-laws and brother-in-law for a short day trip - and we finally got to stand in front of his paintings in person. 

What an experience! The paintings were each on a Gospel - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - and studying them up close was a moving and worshipful experience. If you're familiar with his work, I'm sure this will not come as a surprise to you. If you aren't or you haven't heard him talk about his views on faith, culture, and art, you really must look him up. 

I wish I could describe to you in words the richness of the colors or the texture of layers of mineral-based traditional Japanese paint. Or how the longer you stay still and simply look, the more you see, the more movement appears on the canvas. I wish I could explain how his artistic meditations on Scripture made me ponder, made me meditate on those sacred words further. But I've been having trouble finding the words. They're too...flimsy, cheap, like a promotional blurb in a magazine. Maybe someday I'll share with you, once I finally discover what the "story" of this experience is about.

I'm thankful for artists, like Fujimura, who run after beauty and creativity because of their love and worship of the Beauty and Creativity of God. It's an inspiration.