Makoto Fujimura | “Candid in May” at Morpeth Contemporary

Ki-Seki: Candid in May, mineral pigments, gold, silver, platinum, and oyster shell on kumohada paper, 60 x 54 inches

Morpeth Contemporary is pleased to present works by internationally-renowned, Princeton-based artist Makoto Fujimura. Entitled “Candid in May,” the exhibition contains Nihonga paintings and prints emblematic of the deep exploration that has made Fujimura a leader in a cultural movement that bridges art and faith.

Nihonga — literally meaning “Japanese painting”— was developed in about 1900 to differentiate Japanese works from Western style paintings.   It is a water-based medium that is often characterized by its materials, including: natural pigments derived from minerals, shells, corals, and even semi-precious stones; metals like gold and silver leaf; and the use of “sumi” ink, wood, silk, and paper.  As described by Fujimura, it is also characterized by the time it takes to create—from pulverizing materials into millions of sand-like pigments to waiting for each of up to 100 layers to dry before painting the next. 

Fujimura’s Nihonga works have been described by David Brooks of the New York Times as “a small rebellion against the quickening of time.” They are “slow art,” meaning, as the artist puts it, that they are both slow to make, and slow to perceive.  “It takes time,” Fujimura says, “for the eyes to see the refracted and prismatic light in the pictures.”   

The exhibition contains works born of the nature that surrounds his Princeton farmhouse and studio. Its name, “Candid in May,” is inspired by Fujimura’s admiration for the poet Emily Dickinson: “She acutely observed a singular, momentary event, only seconds long, and she expanded that glimpse of that micro-experience into a vast adventure. This is the nature of the poetic gift—the poet takes a quick glance, a moment most of us would not even see, and expands it to a cosmic level of significance.” 

Fujimura’s works are such moments. They are expanded glimpses, in his case, of a spiritual process that bridges imperfection and beauty, brokenness and healing. 

Morpeth Contemporary- 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell, NJ 08525 609.333.9393

May 1 – 31, 2021 | Reception: Saturday May 8, 5 – 8pm Artist Reception is by appointment only to safely observe occupant limits during COVID. To attend the reception register via the website at or contact the gallery at 609.333.9393

Viewing hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11 – 6 pm + Sunday, 11 – 5 pm no appointment necessary

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