Makoto Fujimura


Wonderful article on Makoto Fujimura in World magazine. A moving narrative of his experience with 9/11, as well as an inticing discussion of his craft, art and faith.

Here's a sample:
" Born in Boston, Mr. Fujimura spent his grade-school years in Japan, graduated from Bucknell, and returned to Japan for six years of study in the traditional nihonga technique under a Tokyo master, earning a master's and a doctorate from Tokyo National University during that time.

Editor Wolfe says that few appreciate the discipline it involved: "Mako slowed his life down and submitted to this time-consuming process, mastering a technique that is pre-technology." For striving young artists in an on-demand age, said Mr. Wolfe, "there's something prophetic to this—learning an ancient system that requires real human investment in time, money, and patience."

Nihonga, Fujimura-style, uses pulverized pigment mixed with water and an animal-hide glue, then applies it to handmade paper. The pigments come from minerals—azurite, malachite, cinnabar, Japanese vermillion, gold powder, cochineal derived from beetles in India, and more. Craftsmen make the paper by hand in Japan, and some with Mr. Fujimura used hemp and the Japanese mulberry tree to invent a new variety that is now called Fujimura paper. For "Water Flames" he had a paper called Kumohada specially made."

As a former youngster who collected minerals like azurite, malachite, feldspar, agates, hematite ... I can't wait to see this man's art in person.