Makoto Fujimura is a contemporary artist, curator, writer, and founder of the International Arts Movement. He was named a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum in 2009.
Fujimura was born in 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts. Educated bi-culturally between the U.S. and Japan, he graduated from Bucknell University in 1983 and received an M.F.A. from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with a Japanese Governmental Scholarship in 1989. His thesis painting was purchased by the university, and he was invited to study in the Japanese Painting Doctorate program, a first for an outsider to this prestigious traditional program.
It was during the six and a half years of studying in Japan that Fujimura began to assimilate the combinations of abstract expressionism explored in the U.S. with the traditional Japanese art of Nihonga. Fujimura’s 2007 book, River Grace (www.rivergrace.com), traces his journey of mastering Nihonga technique using carefully stone-ground minerals including azurite, malachite, and cinnabar, and his deep wrestling with art and faith issues. Upon his return to the U.S., he began to exhibit his paintings in New York City, while continuing to show in Tokyo, and was honored in 1992 as the youngest artist ever to have had a piece acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
In 1990, Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement, an arts advocacy organization that wrestles with the deep questions of art, faith, and humanity. Among other activities, IAM hosts a major conference in New York City every February and publishes Curator, a web magazine.
Fujimura was appointed to the National Council on the Arts, a six-year Presidential appointment, in 2003. His works are represented by the Dillon Gallery in New York and Tokyo and the Sen Gallery, Tokyo. Public collections include the Saint Louis Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and the Time Warner/AOL/CNN building in Hong Kong.
Fujimura and his wife Judy live in New York City and have three children. He has served as an elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church as well as a founding elder at The Village Church.
Publications and Scholarly Works
- Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life (2017)
- Hours (1998)
- Images of Grace (1997)
- On Becoming Generative: An Introduction to Culture Care (2013)
- Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture (2009)
- Restaurant of the Soul (1999)
- River Grace (2007)
- Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering (2016)
- The Splendor of the Medium (2009)