Fire and Water

Galerie Huit is delighted to announce the solo exhibition Fire and Water by acclaimed Japanese artist, Makoto Fujimura. Residing in the US, Makoto Fujimura is a distinguished artist, writer, and speaker on contemporary  arts. Having mastered Western painting techniques in the US and an MFA in Nihonga at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. Fujimura’s distinctive abstract expressionist paintings successfully fuse Nihonga techniques with contemporary art practice, creating a visual language that is both metaphysical and enlightened.

Based on ancient brush techniques and Japanese traditions, Nihonga paintings are typically executed on Japanese paper using natural minerals, shells, corals and in some cases, semi-precious stones. As light casts over the deep hues and tones a luminescence radiates over the surface, asserting the Nihonga signature.

Drawn from Fujimura’s oeuvre of the past fifteen years, the exhibition Fire and Water brings together a selection of pieces belonging to the five important series The Still Point, Golden Sea, Four Quartets, Water Flames and Splendour Refractions. In addition to this, a selection of prints and paintings from the widely acclaimed recent series Four Holy Gospels are on view. The images were commissioned as frontispieces to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

At the centre of Fujimura’s practice lies a spiritual response to questions surrounding mankind’s existence, struggles of human nature and faith. In the main gallery, the large paintings are as evocative as they are grand in scale. Pieces such as Walking on Water – Azurite were made following the 3/11 Japanese tsunami whilst Silence – Kairos acknowledges the past and persecution, particularly, of Christians in 17th Century Japan. In contrast to this, TS Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’, a set of four poems musing on time and its transcendence is the inspiration for Fujimura’s series of the same title.


Fujimura poses profound questions throughout, and the materiality of the surface helps to create such philosophical narrative in the work. Splendour Refractions 1 & 2 focus on the refractive nature of the minerals that Fujimura employs. When executing pure abstract imagery, he relies on the minerals’ luminescent properties to create a spatial field, suggesting that ‘the only way that an “essential flatness” can be full of created space is by using gold.’ Fujimura’s loyalty to such precious metals is rewarded. Through careful persuasion of his hand, they convey a powerful intention within the work.

Fire and Water suggests a divine struggle. Fujimura muses upon profound chapters throughout human history by virtue of his erudite, yet expressive application of organic medium. The paintings connect us physically to the earth, yet invite a spiritual connection that transcends it.


Makoto Fujimura (b. 1960). Lives and works in Princeton and New York City.

Fujimura is a recipient of four Doctor of Arts Honorary Degrees; from Belhaven University in 2011, Biola University in 2012, Cairn University in 2014 and Roanoke College in 2014.

In 2011, Fujimura founded the Fujimura Institute and 2003-2009, Fujimaura was a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts, US.

The exhibition opens on the 1st September and runs through to 5th October 2015. For further information please contact Galerie Huit on (852) 2803 2089 / 2803 2528 or