Art, Beauty and Life Part III – The Peace-crafting Power of Art
Suggested Reading: “Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture” by Makoto Fujimura
Quote of the Day: “The task of art is enormous. Through the influence of real art, aided by science, guided by religion, that peaceful co-operation of man, which is now maintained by external means – by our law-courts, police, charitable institutions, factory inspection, and so forth, - should be obtained by man’s free and joyous activity. Art should cause violence to be set aside.” – Leo Tolstoy
While art does not need a higher purpose other than expressing beauty, we as artists are called to bring peace through our creativity.
Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
The Greek word for peacemakers is eirenepoios, which can be interpreted as “to make or do peace,” suggesting that Jesus is encouraging humanity to not just keep peace but to engage in peacemaking. In the Bible, peace means not only the freedom from all trouble, but enjoyment of all that is good.
Makoto Fujimura is a New York-based artist and has become a voice of bi-cultural authority on the nature and cultural assessment of beauty, by both creating it and exploring its forms. His paintings address the creative process and explore what it means to see.
“The language of arts translates the universal longing for peace into the tangible experience of the desire for peace,” Fujimura writes in his book titled “Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture,” “The arts can model for us how we need to value each person as created in the image of God.”
In its silent beauty, art longs to speak and align a broken humanity back to its conception, to Eden where freedom, justice and beauty flow. Art is an act of hope that can and should reconcile man to man and man to God, just like the Prince of Peace came to remake a broken world.
True artists/peacemakers are responsible for not only creating peace through their work but also reproducing peace in others.
There is peace-crafting power in art.
“Create we must, and respond to this dark hour. The world needs artists who dedicate themselves to communicate the image of Shalom. Jesus is Shalom. Shalom is not just the absence of war, but wholeness, healing and joy of fullness of humanity. We need to collaborate within our communities, to respond individually to give the world our Shalom vision.” – Makoto Fujimura