I became aware of artist Makoto Fujimura, a leading contemporary painter, earlier this year. His style of painting intrigues me as he creates what he calls ‘slow art’, and lays 80-100 layers on the canvas before he begins to paint.
Through him I also learned about Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold lacquer. The philosophy is one of taking something broken, repairing it with something precious, thereby making it more valuable than it was before. I like the spiritual significance in this, as the broken pieces in life can be mended with the gold of God’s love, thereby adding value.
.Several months ago I began listening to audio books, and His book Art and Faith: A Theology of Making was one of the first I listened to.
I’m sharing this 2011 Belhaven University Commencement address he gave the month following the tragedy of the Japanese tsunami. In this address he speaks of the importance of using the arts, creativity, to “point to, or even re-deﬁne, the World to come, causing us to rise up, like Lazarus, from the dark tomb of cynicism and despair.” I feel this message is apropos for today as we are emerging from the pandemic.
This speech was chosen as CNN top 16 Greatest Commencement Speeches of All Time, and selected by NPR as one of “Best Ever” Commencement Speeches.