Makoto Fujimura (born in 1960 in Boston, USA) is a 21st-century contemporary artist. He graduated with a B.A. from Bucknell University, then studied in a traditional Japanese painting doctorate program for several years at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with several notable artists such as Takashi Murakami and Hiroshi Senju. He was the first non-native to participate in the Japanese Painting Doctorate Program, which dates back to 15th century. His bicultural arts education led his style towards a fusion between fine art and abstract expressionism, together with the traditional Japanese art of Nihonga.
Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1991 and currently acts as Creative Director. He has co-hosted several major conferences for the International Arts Movement, most recently "Inhabit."
He is represented by Dillon Gallery in New York City and Tokyo; as well as by White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia. His work can be seen at the National Modern Museum of Art in Tokyo, the Saint Louis Museum, the Cincinnati Museum, and the CNN building in Hong Kong. He was appointed by President Bush to the National Council on the Arts in 2003. At the completion of his term in 2009, then Chair Dana Gioia awarded him the Chairman's Medal for his service and contribution to arts advocacy in the United States.
His work includes “The Splendor of the Medium”, "Water Flames," and "Charis," a collection of paintings using stone-ground minerals including gold, platinum, azurite, malachite and cinnabar. He has collaborated with percussionist/composer Susie Ibarra on multiple occasions, and his live painting was recorded by Plywood Pictures in "Live in New York: Susie Ibarra + Makoto Fujimura." (2009)
In November 2009, Fujimura's works were coupled with works of Georges Rouault at Dillon Gallery. Fujimura created several new works in homage to the 20th century master, the catalyst of the "Sacred Arts Movement" in Paris that influenced Picasso, Matisse and other modernist artists. Fujimura wrote an essay for the show that was included in a short book that was produced to accompany the show called "Soliloquies" (Square Halo Books, 2009) ISBN 978-0-9785097-2-9.
Crossway Publishing commissioned Fujimura in 2009 for The Four Holy Gospels project to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the publishing of the King James Bible. It was the first time that a single artist has been commissioned to illuminate the four Gospels in nearly five hundred years. The Gospels were on exhibition at the Museum Of Biblical Art in Manhattan until October 2011, and are on display in Takashimaya, Nihonbashi, Tokyo, until Dec 27th. The Four Holy Gospels comprise of five major frontispieces, 89 chapter heading letters and over 140 pages of hand illumined pages, all done in traditional Nihonga.
A popular speaker, he has lectured at Bucknell University, Philadelphia Biblical University, Gordon College, Grove City College, The King's College (New York), Princeton University, Yale University, Baylor University, Belmont University, Duke University and various arts conferences. He is also an author of several books including "River Grace" (Poiema Press, 2008), and "Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture" (NavPress, 2009). His essays have appeared in IMAGE Journal, American Arts Quarterly, and World magazine. His essay "The Fallen Towers and the Art of Tea" was selected for IMAGE Journal's "Bearing the Image: Twenty Years of IMAGE" anthology. He is featured twice in the book "Objects of Grace: Conversations on Creativity and Faith" (Square Halo Books, 2004) ISBN 978-0-9658798-3-5 and contributed an essay and artwork to "It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God" (Square Halo Books, 2007) ISBN 978-0-9785097-1-2. In 2010 Fujimura made his on-screen debut with commentary in the award winning documentary, The Human Experience.