To glorify God in creative community, contributing my voice as a witness of God’s beauty and goodness through art and worship. Soli Deo Gloria: like many before me, I approach my creative practice with worship as my aim. I’ve been captivated by the beauty of the Crucified King, and I believe that living and working among those who don’t yet know the risen Jesus Christ can create, through friendships, conversation and creative endeavours, opportunities for encounter.
In the words of writer Jeff Goins, “The job of an artist is to offer a sanctuary of beauty to an ugly world.” This is not a shutting out of the pain and suffering of life, but a house of prayer and healing. My artistic practice is deeply informed by my time in prayer and worship; interceding for my community and those who live in it. When people encounter my work, they are standing in front of layers of prayers, bible study, and worship, abstracted into color, texture, and forms quoted from the natural world.
In the beauty of nature, God has been speaking of His love to us. I believe there is no other place in the world where this is more uniquely interwoven through arts and culture than in Japan. Throughout Japanese history, there are allusions to Christian faith hidden in plain sight, through various art forms and traditions. Makoto Fujimura observes in Silence and Beauty that tea master Sen no Rikyu takes an indirect, yet compelling approach to sharing his deep convictions and, ultimately, the faith of his community:
“In missional terms, we may note that he (Rikyu) took a path opposite of the imperialistic communication of religious messages; he hid the message of peace and communal force of resilience in the art of tea, embedding into Japanese culture and the notion of beauty itself the very seeds of freedom and goodness.” (Silence and Beauty, Loc. 2179)
Japan has historically been a difficult place for Christians; the culture carries the trauma of
persecution and martyrdom. I want to create, with my life and my work, a safe space for
those who are seeing the fingerprints of a loving God on their life and to venture toward that
beautiful Way; to taste and see for themselves. I want to see the witness of God’s beauty
become so compelling in Japan, that the rest of the world can’t look away. I may not see it
in my lifetime, but that is my prayerful aim.
• Studio practice. My employers have provided studio space at the school where I teach
and in a prefab near my home.
• Exhibition of artwork in solo and group exhibitions, both in Japan and abroad.
• Collaboration with creatives in ministry (for example, participation in existing worship
songwriting collective in Nagoya).
• Further learning of culture, faith, and aesthetic theory in Japan through hands-on
research and investing in relationships.
• Participating in creative ministry in my local church, Mustard Seed Nagoya.
• Creating opportunities for dialogue and community building through inviting international
creative ministers to share their work in my community.
• Using my art education background to engage with my students in thoughtful
conversations on art and faith.
• Continuing participation in existing art networks in Japan and abroad, such as T-CAN,
Community Arts Tokyo, RJC Artist Community, Saddleback Visual Arts, International Arts
Movement, and A.C.T. Intl.
• Building relationships with local artists and creatives in Japan, and sharing the gospel
with them, both through my work and my words.
How can I help?
Please keep me in your prayers, and consider partnering with me in my work with a one time only or a monthly donation.
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