Friday, April 22, 2011

Mehndi Gospel Paintings

God's Promise to Abraham.
Mehandi and acrylic on canvas. 2010
On this Easter weekend, I hope you are well and will have a chance to reflect on God' passion, mercy and love for you.  The resurrection is the event around which all of history and the universe revolves.  It is our reason for hope and joy in a world deeply scarred and broken:  "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5).  So with a heart full of gladness, I wanted to celebrate Easter with a post about an example of artistic contextualization that portrays the story of mankind's fall and God's desire to save and redeem us (see my previous post about contextualized henna here).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Artist Profile: Watanabe Sadao
The Prodigal Son

Japanese Christian artist Watanabe Sadao (1913–1996) was a textile artist who worked in the katazome technique of stenciling and dyeing, which he learned while studying under master artist Serizawa Keisuke (1895-1984).  Keisuke had originally been trained in graphic design, but later became very involved in the mingei movement, which sought to recognize the beauty and significance of Japanese folk art of various media.  Keisuke studied under Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), the founder of the mingei movement.  Soetsu and his associates had scoured Japan for the finest examples of Japanese folk art of various media and in 1936 created the Japan Folk Craft Museum in Tokyo in which to display them.  Anne H. H. Pyle writes that Soetsu's

concept of mingei folk art consisted of objects made by hand from natural materials in sufficient number to serve or to be used by the masses of people daily, and he argued that “it was because they were used that they were beautiful” (p. 21).