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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Optimism and Pessimism

This past weekend I was speaking about 'Optimism and Pessimism: Is there a basis for a hopeful life?'. 

It's a presentation I've been working on for a while and part of it focuses on the way in which different works of art portray positivity or negativity as the 'realistic' way to view the world.

One painting (pictured, left) I shared towards the end was by the Japanese artist Makoto Fujimura.

Entitled 'Soliliques - Joy', it pictures golden squares against a background of blacks and greens. 

Fujimura, a follower of Jesus, once wrote that "only in... darkness, recognizing the bleak conditions of the world and the fallen reality of our souls, can Christ's appearance make sense."

He set out to echo this idea in his painting by using colors to display the golden experience of joy in contrast to the dark and tumultuous realities of our world.

'Realism', according to Fujimura's work, involves an optimism which doesn't deny the power of those things which might otherwise make us pessimistic, but does trust that Light has entered the darkness and so we are not without hope.

It's a powerful image: The story of Jesus told in the strokes of a brush.

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