The Institute’s events and networks will help connect creatives from different fields so they may design generative collaborations. These events include collaborative exhibits, such as the current QU4RTETS project, and a continuing lecture series with premier artists and thinkers to promote catalytic conversations and spark new ideas and cross-discipline projects.
To continue this emphasis on cooperation, rather than competition, within the creative community, the Institute will build a guild system to train and mentor apprentices in Makoto Fujimura’s studio process and the ancient art of Nihonga. These apprentices will help preserve traditional Japanese painting techniques, as well as learn and promote the practice of imagining projects beyond a single specialty.
The divisions in modern life are growing deeper and more contentious between opposing academic disciplines, political parties, denominations, cultures, and classes. The world rewards increasingly granular specialization, but the world’s philosophical and practical problems increasingly demand the knowledge and cooperation of experts from diverse backgrounds. Makoto Fujimura has seen this fragmentation and has endeavored, personally and through International Arts Movement, to motivate other creatives to work together to resist the alienating effects of a divisive society.
Fujimura studied Nihonga at Tokyo University of the Arts and has since had numerous exhibits in galleries and museums from New York to Tokyo to Hong Kong. He has painted live on stage at Carnegie Hall, collaborating with composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992 and served as a member of the National Council on the Arts. He has lectured at numerous conferences and universities including the Aspen Institute, Yale, Bucknell, Princeton, The Q Conference and IAM’s Encounter. Fujimura’s second book Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture is a collection of essays bringing people of all backgrounds together in a meditation on culture, art and humanity.
The Institute’s name honors several generations of Fujimura’s family, including Makoto’s father, Osamu, a pioneer in acoustics research, and his brother Aki, key benefactor to the creation of the Institute. The board of International Arts Movement oversees Fujimura Institute as a core educational element of IAM.