Abigail Dunagan, Campus Carrier assist. arts and living editor

“Water Flames” by Makoto Fujimura is an elegy to the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that took place in Tohoku, Japan. Mia Maxwell | Campus Carrier

From February 1 and until April 15, the Oak Hill and the Martha Berry Museum will be hosting a collection of painting by contemporary artist leading Makoto Fujimura. The exhibit features a series of paintings by Fujimura, most notable works “Walking on Water,” and “Water Flames.” 

An elegy is a work of art that expresses mourning and sorrow for something that has been lost. The piece “Walking on Water” was created by Fujimura to pay respects to the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan. This piece asks the question “can we walk on water?” The painting “Water Flames” was painted after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Both works are elegies, created by Fujimura to pay respects to the victims of these disasters. 

Junior student worker Emma Servaes says she has seen a lot of interest in this exhibit within the Berry community. The museum has been receiving a lot of emails from visitors who have been looking forward to visiting the gallery. 

“From the student and staff perspective, we have all been really excited to see the exhibit,” Servaes said. “I have been telling my friends to come see it because it is really cool.” 

Fujimura is from the United States, and he studied art in both the United States and Japan. His art is style is called “abstract expressionism.” Fujimura’s style is a fusion of modernism and art from 16th and 17th century Japan. The pieces are classified as “slow art.” Fujimura’s art is intended to be observed slowly so that the smaller details and meaning of the art can be fully appreciated. 

The exhibit is brought to Berry College through the Center for Integrity and Leadership (BCIL). The paintings were chosen to be displayed in the Oak Hill and Martha Berry Museum because of the spacious gallery room located in the museum. The gallery space is a well-lit area which allows visitors to view each of the paintings from both farther away and up close. This allows guests to experience the pieces as “slow art” and to fully immerse in the artwork. 

“These are really huge and monumental pieces that you should be able to step back and take a good look at from far away, and to step close and take another look,” Servaes said. 

While there has been a lot of student and staff interest in the gallery, the exhibit has also been very popular with art students at Berry. Student worker Blake Howard says that it has been really exciting to see the art pieces installed in the gallery. 

“This is one of the most unique exhibits that the museum has had,” Howard said. “It has been really interesting to see modern artwork at the museum.”

This is one of the most unique art exhibits that Berry College has had the opportunity to host. This opportunity for the Oak Hill Museum to host this art gallery opens a lot of doors for future artist talks and exhibits. 

Over the next few weeks, Fujimura will be hosting series of lectures at the museum. These lectures will take place on March 23 at 6 p.m. and on March 24 at 5 p.m. 

Posted by Campus Carrier

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