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Customer Reviews for NavPress Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture

NavPress Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture

Living and working at Ground Zero in New York City, Makoto Fujimura was deeply affected by the events of September 11, 2001---and yet his art and his writings continue to speak of light even in darkness. You'll be blessed by his reflections on life's meaning, and the value of creativity as an act of hope. 176 pages, softcover from NavPress.
Average Customer Rating:
4.833 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(6 Reviews) 6
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Customer Reviews for Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Review 1 for Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 16, 2009
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Julieanne Miller
This contemplative book is written from the introspective viewpoint of an artist, Makoto Fujimura, as a man who survived 911 and lives only a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. His heartfelt desire is to encourage artists to "wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith, and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to engage the culture that is and create the world that ought to be." Mr. Fujimura shows some of his accomplishments as an artist, using essay to demonstrate his skills and thinking in the creative process of developing artwork.In Refractions, Mr. Fujimura addresses such topics as: 911, the National Council on the Arts, teens with regressive behaviors, tensions between the "old" and the "new" culture in China, the collision of art and democracy, sharing the true meaning of Christmas through art, dance - the gift of physical grace, the purpose of art, and more. While this book was more of an ethereal series of essays, thoughts, and prayers than I am used to reading, it made me think...a lot. I realize that my view of life is far different, maybe not theologically, but in my awareness of all that is around me. This was an interesting book that I prefered to read in bits and pieces, one chapter at a time. Whether you are an artist or not, I think you will enjoy this deeper philosophical book.
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Review 2 for Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 14, 2009
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Tracy
Because I do crafts which involve creativity, I suspected that I could take away some helpful insight from Makoto Fujimuras book since he is an artist and someone who understands the creative process. He certainly does know art, but he offers much more. I enjoy learning new information as well, so it was pleasing to come away with more knowledge than I had before.A good deal of wisdom about faith and art can be found among the collection of essays which make up this book. The author writes as beautifully as is his artwork, which makes it a bit intimidating for an average reader like me to dare comment about his writing! Take my word for it, readers will feel that they have become more cultured by exposing themselves to his thoughts presented in such an ethereal writing style.Mr. Fujimura lives with his family in the Ground Zero area of New York City and most of the essays shared were written between 2001 through 2006. As one can imagine, the events of September 11, 2001 had a life-changing impact on him and it is apparent that he has reflected on that day often. No doubt that there will be a few essays that readers will find especially moving to them, as I did.One note of advice I would like to give is that if a reader is unfamiliar with the definition of the word refraction, then look up its meaning. It is a word that the author uses about once per essay, so it bodes well to know what it means in order to understand its context as the book is read. See, even before readers open the book there is potential to learn something from the title alone!
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Review 3 for Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 26, 2009
Everything about this book is absolutely beautiful! From the actual design of the book to the pictures of art inside. Makoto Fujimura is brilliant writer as well as an incredible artist. Each and every chapter is well written, and the message is meaningful to the reader. This book and Makoto Fujimuras words will stick with me for a long time to come. He is definitely one talented guy! If youre looking for a book to meditate on, learn from, and open your eyes to the beauty around you, this is it!
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Review 4 for Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 23, 2009
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Annmarie
Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture by Makoto Fujimura, a contemporary Christian artist shares his art, thoughts, and faith in this journal of poignant essays. Influenced by 9/11, since he lives 3 blocks from ground zero, has largely shaped him and it comes out in his writings. This work is written in journal form going from one topic to the next, without any clear connection to other chapters. The only underlying theme mentioned throughout are his thoughts and experiences with 9/11. In one chapter he shares about meeting the architect of the Freedom Towers. Included are a couple drawings / pictures of the proposed Freedom Towers.He does share influences in his life, including his faith in Christ; new experiences, such as visiting colleges with his son; his experiences teaching troubled students and how art made a difference; he talks of his travels, his awards, and other life experiences that have shaped him.According to Websters dictionary, Refractions are looking at something through a (art) medium. I guess you can say we get to see into the heart of Mr. Fujimura through his art, faith, and his writings. This book has mostly colored pictures of his art and other photos, that embellish each chapter. This would make a great gift book, for your contemporary art loving friends.
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Review 5 for Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 4, 2009
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Heather Randall
Makoto Fujimura is a visual artist who works with light, prism and minerals to create refractions of art.After reading refractions, I am fully convinced of Fujimura's ability as an artist and am certain of his dedication to art.This book was a remarkable look into a creative mind that longs to capture the attention of the world through art while bringing glory to God.Every chapter (or essay) reads like a devotion. I found myself repeatedly sharing pieces from each chapter with my husband because it was so rich and deep that I couldn't keep it to myself.refractions is an insightful and beautiful read. The writing is outstanding and the thoughts he shares are inspiring and intelligent. I loved reading this book.Usually when I read a book and see references to other writings or resources I just ignore them, but after reading Chapter 5, I was drawn to my computer to hear the music of William Basinski's Disintegration Loops. Wow! Again and again I was inspired to know more about the artists and ideas he conveyed. He gave insight and depth to art and faith that I would have naively passed over.Fujimura is a powerful writer who eloquently conveys how to have an eternal impact on our world through faith displayed in art. He is gentle with his Christian beliefs and doors are opened up to him because of it. I pray that many artists would read this book and capture a vision for the potential they could have to truly impact our world for Christ in the subtle, but heartfelt actions of creativity. I am thankful for the opportunity to read and learn from his beautiful example of faith and art in action.
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Review 6 for Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 25, 2009
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Tony Lai
Often the internal life of an artist is not easily accessible and yet Makoto Fujimura in Refractions allows us to meet him in a very intimate way. I have followed his blog for a while and this book is a gem. He is an artist working in the space between the East and the West and working with mineral pigments, which catch the light and bend it in many ways, just like the essays in this book. Makoto Fujimura is one of those one in a million people. As a visual artist, as Japanese American, as someone living in the shadow of Ground Zero, as man of faith and committed to community and culture, it is possible find at last someone, something authentic. One small flash of that authenticity is Art cannot be divorced from faith, for to do so is to literally close our eyes to that beauty of the dying sun setting all around us. Refractions is not something you read through and feel youve done the book. It is not a work of fiction nor is it a textbook about faith, religion or art. It is about the internal spiritual journey, seeing, thinking, reflecting and refracting.
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