IN THIS SHOW

IMAGE GALLERY

CALENDAR

Witness to Faith:

The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe

Japan’s foremost Christian artist, Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996) converted from Buddhism to Christianity at 17 years old. He soon combined his new faith with an interest in preserving the traditional Japanese folk art of stencil dying, or katazome, by creating colorful representation of biblical scenes that he hoped would speak to his people. He said, ‘My task is to stand within the artistic tradition of Japan…Theology will not take deep root in Japanese soil if it is merely an import.”

 

Within the framework of his Christian faith he was able to translate the biblical narratives into Japanese settings, thereby giving them broad resonance. Each hand cut print has been created using a complicated traditional stencil art form formally used for dying kimonos. He clothed all the biblical characters in the Japanese dress of kimonos. Noah’s Ark looks like a Japanese cricket cage filled with a menagerie of animals. He depicted the Last Supper with a spread of fish and sake, and the Wedding at Cana with a declawed lobster—all familiar traditional foods of his people.

 

Watanabe was less concerned with representing visual reality than with finding ways to communicate his Christian beliefs to other Japanese. The result is a body of art that is an expression of deep faith as well as a valuable contribution to the history of Christian art. His prints are part of many international collections including the Vatican Museum, National Galleries in Washington, DC and London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.

 

Watanabe’s fame notwithstanding, the artist’s chief desire was to create art that could be enjoyed by common people and displayed in ordinary settings. Witness to Faith hopes to help fulfill his wishes by offering for view some of his original momigami (wrinkled paper) and washi (Japanese paper) prints, calendars that have been printed since the early 1970s, and stencil Christmas cards he made for friends. May these be a true Witness to Faith.

 

The exhibition's artwork includes

  • Old Testament (4)
  • New Testament (21)
  • Other: Calendars (5) and Christmas cards (10)

I owe my life to Christ and the gospel. My way of expressing my gratitude is to witness to my faith through the medium of biblical scenes.

 

This show contains:

 

  • File with high-resolution images of all works in the show
  • File with text for labels
  • File for Introduction panels
  • Information on unpacking and repacking show
  • Information on shipping the exhibition

 

Cost of rental is $500 per month (plus shipping). There is a two-month minimum. With the rental of two months the third month is free.

Bowden Collections offers a variety of traveling exhibitions available to museums, churches, colleges and seminaries: several feature the work of important historical artists such as Georges Rouault, Marc Chagall, Ottos Dix and Alfred Manessier; others explore topics related to the Bible. A packet containing everything needed to mount the exhibition with files for labels, itemized lists, a brochure or flyer in PDF format, high-resolution digital files of art in the exhibition, and shipping information is provided. Venues are responsible for the rental fee and shipping, usually to the following venue.

New Testament

Old Testament

New Testament

Calendars and Christmas Cards

Exhibitions of this Collection

October 1 to December 31, 2017

Theology and Ministry Library, Boston College

117 Lake Street, Brighton, MA 02135

Contact Esther Griswold, head librarian            griswole@bc.edu

617-552-6540

 

March 15 to June 15, 2017

The Grantham BIC Church

421 Grantham Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Office (717) 766-0531

Geoff Isley: geoff@isleydesign.com

 

December 10, 2016 to March 10, 2017

Church at Charlotte

2500 Carmel Road

Charlotte, NC 28226

704-364-5913

Contact Attn: Carrie Givens

cgivens@churchatcharlotte.org

 

September 10 to December 10, 2016

Square Halo Gallery 37 North Market Street

Lancaster, PA 17603

Ned Bustard, Curator  ned@worldsendimages.com

(717) 293-1087

 

June 1 to August 30, 2016

St Andrews Church

440 Whilden St

Mt Pleasant SC  29484

Contact Dwight Huthwaite

dhuthwaite@wearestandrews.com

 

Feb 1 to April 25, 2016

The Center for Lifelong Learning

Columbia Theological Seminary

701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30030.

Contact Sarah Erickson, Director of Lifelong Learning: ericksons@ctsnet.edu

404 698 4526

 

November 15, 2015 to January 15, 2016

The Gallery at Grace Point Church

1201 NE McCollum Dr

Bentonville, AR 72712

Church phone: 479-464-7223

Contact Tim Logan: 479-586-6268

 

April 17 to July 25, 2015

Colonial Presbyterian Church

9500 Wornall Rd. Kansas City, MO 64114

Contact Randy Shaneyfelt

816-501-3001
rshaneyfelt@colonialkc.org

 

February 10 to April 7, 2015

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church

611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.

Severna Park, MD  21146

Contact:  Nancy Saarlas

410 647 0135

 

 

The show rents for $500 /month, with a minimum of 4 weeks per venue.
With the rental of two months the third month is free.