Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
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Stock No: WW063015
NavPress / 2009 / Paperback

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Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture

NavPress / 2009 / Paperback

In Stock
CBD Stock No: WW063015

Product Description

Living and working at Ground Zero in New York City, Makoto Fujimura was deeply affected by the events of September 11, 2001---and yet his art and his writings continue to speak of light even in darkness. You'll be blessed by his reflections on life's meaning, and the value of creativity as an act of hope. 176 pages, softcover from NavPress.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: NavPress
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 (inches)
ISBN: 1600063012
ISBN-13: 9781600063015

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Publisher's Description

A collection of essays, thoughts, and prayers from award-winning artist Makoto Fujimura, Refractions brings people of all backgrounds together in conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity.

Author Bio

Makoto Fujimura was born in 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts. Educated bicultural between the United States and Japan, Fujimura graduated from Bucknell University in 1983 and received an M.F.A. from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music as a National Scholar in Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) in 1989. His thesis painting was purchased by the university and he was invited to study in the Post–M.F.A. lineage program, a first for an outsider to this prestigious traditional program. During his years in the program, he experienced "a transfer of allegiance from art to Christ." His book River Grace ( traces his journey of mastering Nihonga technique, using carefully stone-ground minerals including azurite, malachite, and cinnabar, along with his deep wrestling with art and faith issues.

In 1992 he became the youngest artist ever to have had a piece acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Public collections include The Saint Louis Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and the Time Warner / AOL / CNN building in Hong Kong. His paintings are represented by Dillon Gallery in New York and in Tokyo (
Fujimura was appointed to the National Council on the Arts, a six-year presidential appointment, in 2003. WORLD magazine honored him as its Daniel of the Year in 2005.

In 1990 Fujimura founded The International Arts Movement (, an arts advocacy organization that wrestles with the deep questions of art, faith, and humanity. Fujimura has served as an elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church as well as a founding elder at The Village Church, both Presbyterian Church in America congregations in New York City. His writings on art and faith issues have appeared in Image Journal , Books and Culture , American Arts Quarterly , and WORLD magazine.

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  1. Julieanne Miller
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 16, 2009
    Julieanne Miller
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    This contemplative book is written from the introspective viewpoint of an artist, Makoto Fujimura, as a man who survived 911 and lives only a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. His heartfelt desire is to encourage artists to "wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith, and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to engage the culture that is and create the world that ought to be." Mr. Fujimura shows some of his accomplishments as an artist, using essay to demonstrate his skills and thinking in the creative process of developing artwork.In Refractions, Mr. Fujimura addresses such topics as: 911, the National Council on the Arts, teens with regressive behaviors, tensions between the "old" and the "new" culture in China, the collision of art and democracy, sharing the true meaning of Christmas through art, dance - the gift of physical grace, the purpose of art, and more. While this book was more of an ethereal series of essays, thoughts, and prayers than I am used to reading, it made me think...a lot. I realize that my view of life is far different, maybe not theologically, but in my awareness of all that is around me. This was an interesting book that I prefered to read in bits and pieces, one chapter at a time. Whether you are an artist or not, I think you will enjoy this deeper philosophical book.
  2. Tracy
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 14, 2009
    Because I do crafts which involve creativity, I suspected that I could take away some helpful insight from Makoto Fujimuras book since he is an artist and someone who understands the creative process. He certainly does know art, but he offers much more. I enjoy learning new information as well, so it was pleasing to come away with more knowledge than I had before.A good deal of wisdom about faith and art can be found among the collection of essays which make up this book. The author writes as beautifully as is his artwork, which makes it a bit intimidating for an average reader like me to dare comment about his writing! Take my word for it, readers will feel that they have become more cultured by exposing themselves to his thoughts presented in such an ethereal writing style.Mr. Fujimura lives with his family in the Ground Zero area of New York City and most of the essays shared were written between 2001 through 2006. As one can imagine, the events of September 11, 2001 had a life-changing impact on him and it is apparent that he has reflected on that day often. No doubt that there will be a few essays that readers will find especially moving to them, as I did.One note of advice I would like to give is that if a reader is unfamiliar with the definition of the word refraction, then look up its meaning. It is a word that the author uses about once per essay, so it bodes well to know what it means in order to understand its context as the book is read. See, even before readers open the book there is potential to learn something from the title alone!
  3. Sarah Katie
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 26, 2009
    Sarah Katie
    Everything about this book is absolutely beautiful! From the actual design of the book to the pictures of art inside. Makoto Fujimura is brilliant writer as well as an incredible artist. Each and every chapter is well written, and the message is meaningful to the reader. This book and Makoto Fujimuras words will stick with me for a long time to come. He is definitely one talented guy! If youre looking for a book to meditate on, learn from, and open your eyes to the beauty around you, this is it!
  4. Annmarie
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 23, 2009
    Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture by Makoto Fujimura, a contemporary Christian artist shares his art, thoughts, and faith in this journal of poignant essays. Influenced by 9/11, since he lives 3 blocks from ground zero, has largely shaped him and it comes out in his writings. This work is written in journal form going from one topic to the next, without any clear connection to other chapters. The only underlying theme mentioned throughout are his thoughts and experiences with 9/11. In one chapter he shares about meeting the architect of the Freedom Towers. Included are a couple drawings / pictures of the proposed Freedom Towers.He does share influences in his life, including his faith in Christ; new experiences, such as visiting colleges with his son; his experiences teaching troubled students and how art made a difference; he talks of his travels, his awards, and other life experiences that have shaped him.According to Websters dictionary, Refractions are looking at something through a (art) medium. I guess you can say we get to see into the heart of Mr. Fujimura through his art, faith, and his writings. This book has mostly colored pictures of his art and other photos, that embellish each chapter. This would make a great gift book, for your contemporary art loving friends.
  5. Heather Randall
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 4, 2009
    Heather Randall
    Makoto Fujimura is a visual artist who works with light, prism and minerals to create refractions of art.After reading refractions, I am fully convinced of Fujimura's ability as an artist and am certain of his dedication to art.This book was a remarkable look into a creative mind that longs to capture the attention of the world through art while bringing glory to God.Every chapter (or essay) reads like a devotion. I found myself repeatedly sharing pieces from each chapter with my husband because it was so rich and deep that I couldn't keep it to myself.refractions is an insightful and beautiful read. The writing is outstanding and the thoughts he shares are inspiring and intelligent. I loved reading this book.Usually when I read a book and see references to other writings or resources I just ignore them, but after reading Chapter 5, I was drawn to my computer to hear the music of William Basinski's Disintegration Loops. Wow! Again and again I was inspired to know more about the artists and ideas he conveyed. He gave insight and depth to art and faith that I would have naively passed over.Fujimura is a powerful writer who eloquently conveys how to have an eternal impact on our world through faith displayed in art. He is gentle with his Christian beliefs and doors are opened up to him because of it. I pray that many artists would read this book and capture a vision for the potential they could have to truly impact our world for Christ in the subtle, but heartfelt actions of creativity. I am thankful for the opportunity to read and learn from his beautiful example of faith and art in action.
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