Thursday, August 21, 2014

Soichi Watanabe: Bamboo and the Holy Spirit

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.

Soichi Watanabe, The Bamboo-Emptiness-Flexibility-and-The Holy Spirit, 2008.
Oil on canvas, 18" x 15".

Soichi Watanabe, a Japanese Christian painter, was born in 1949.  In his work he seeks to answer the question, "What is the ideal form of art for Christian art in Japan in the present age?"  He teaches art at a private art school that he founded in 1982 in the city where he lives, Koshigaya City, Saitama. His influences include many ancient forms of art along with varioius 20th century abstract artists.

Watanabe writes:

"In 1972 I read in a book by Albert Schweitzer that when we encounter Jesus, we don't know who he is. When the disciples encountered Jesus by the seaside, they didn't know who he was. But they followed his call. Schweitzer heard God's call when he came across an appeal in a newspaper for doctors to be missionaries in Africa. After ten years of studying medicine he threw away the status of professor of theology and professional organist and followed Jesus. I was led to the Christian faith by some teachers, friends and books. Now I realize that these persons and these books were really Jesus by the seaside."

To read a devotional reflection on Watanabe's painting above, The Bamboo-Emptiness-Flexibility-and-The Holy Spirit, click here.  Another devotional reflection on a different painting by him can be found here. For more examples of his work, click here.  And here is a bio of the artist.

Below are two of my favorites:

Soichi Watanabe, We are One in Jesus Our Lord.


Soichi Watanabe, Lotus - The Grace of God (Ephesians 1:7), 2008.
Oil on canvas, 21" x 18".


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Call for Entries: "Our Mob – God’s Story" Indigenous Christian Art Book

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.

Birth of Jesus by Max Conlon has been featured in the project's promotional materials.
Conlon is also one of the book's selection committee members.

It's been nearly a month since I've posted, mainly due to an online class that ended in early June and lots of stuff to catch up on since then. Anyway, please check out a flyer here about the upcoming Indigenous Australian Christian art book that I posted about in 2013.  It's called Our Mob – God’s Story and is being produced by Bible Society Australia for publication in 2017.  They're asking for submissions of "paintings which tell Bible stories or depict Christian symbols" by Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander artists.  The deadline for entries is July 31 2014.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will aid in providing Bible translations into indigenous Australian heart languages.  The book's selection committee is made up entirely of Aboriginal Australians.

The hope for Our Mob – God’s Story is to show "the depth of spirituality among Indigenous Christians while showcasing their talent, and [to be] a creative means of engaging people with the gospel."  Click here for more about the book and one of its selection committee members, Christobel Mattingley.  For more about artist and selection committee member Max Conlon, click here.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Curious Christian: How to Find Alternative Christian Art

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.


Shanghai-based artist Yu Jiade's interpretation
of Jesus as The Good Shepherd

Here's a great 2010 post from Matt Stone at Curious Christian called "How to find alternative Christian art."  He provides some great tips for finding Christian art outside of the typical Sunday School / desktop wallpaper variety.  

Matt has accumulated a great collection of all kinds of alternative Christian art at his blog, including lots of nonwestern/indigenous Christian art.  Check it out!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Kufic and Arabic Crosses

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.


Pascal Zoghbi, Photographer.


Here is a cool looking cross via Curious Christian and the source of the photo, Pascal Zoghbi at 29Letters Blog.  **world Business 1981*** reports that the wooden cross


is currently in the National Evangelical Church of Beirut, a Protestant church in Lebanon. The work was made in 1995 by the Lebanese Arab Christian artist Istfén. The writings are John 3:16; they say in Arabic "لأنه هكذا أحب الله العالم حتى بذل ابنه الوحيد لكي لا يهلك كل من يؤمن به بل تكون له الحياة الأبدية". Dimensions of the cross are 140cm X 100cm.
Another Arabic calligraphy cross by artist EveritteBarbee can be seen here.  It also contains John 3:16, once around the border and once in the cross itself. The centre circle reads "(he) loved".

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cross Logo of Lutheran Indian Ministries

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.







From Holy Nation:

"The colors of this Native cross, along with the words, "Christ's Kingdom. Every Native American Nation,", communicate the focus of the Lutheran Association of Missionaries & Pilots U.S. to bring the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ to people of all races- red, yellow, black and white.


From Lutheran Indian Ministries:

While the legal name of the organization continues to be Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots U.S., Inc., the name Lutheran Indian Ministries was introduced to reflect our ministry to Native Americans by Native Americans.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Create International Animated Video for Li People

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.



Check out this new animated video by Create International for the Li people, whom I presume are the ones who live off the southern coast of mainland China on Hainan Island.  I don't really know anything about the video, except that it tells the Gospel story from eternity before creation through the ascension of Christ and beyond.  It seems to incorporate some visual cultural elements like dress and perhaps cultural symbols for God (including Chinese script), colors (?), as well as cultural music.  In any case, an interesting combination of computer animation and cultural forms to tell the Gospel story.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Because He Lives We Can Face Tomorrow

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.



Because He Lives We Can Face Tomorrowby Cree Artist Ovide Bighetty


From the reForming Relationships art tour website:

Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin - The Creator’s Sacrifice tells this foundational Christian story of Jesus’ death and resurrection - the story that makes all things new. Its vibrant imagery, familiar to some and unfamiliar to others - both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal—invites us to re-imagine how we think about and live out the relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples... Through these works of art, the Spirit of our Creator invites us to live in new ways - in re-formed relationships of peace and friendship.