This show includes:

  • 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

August 15 to November 15, 2014
Maple Valley Presbyterian Church
22659 Sweeney Rd. SE 
Maple Valley, WA   98038
Contact:  Brian Moss                  vibemore@gmail.com                  206-919-0377


February 10 to April 7, 2015
Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church
611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park, MD  21146
Contact:  Nancy Saarlas
410 647 0135


Available

The Watanabe show rents for  $500 a month (four weeks).
With the rental of two months the third month is free.  
Old Testament (4)
New Testament (21)
Other
Calendars (5)
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.

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.


Old Testament
Jacob’s Well

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1972

Moses Abandoned

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1979

But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Exodus 2: 3-7

Moses’ mother bids farewell to her newborn son whom she has placed in a reed basket along the Nile amongst the reeds as a way to camouflage and protect him.

Jonah
Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1979

The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us? Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Jonah 1: 11 – 12
Jonah looks upwards, faced by two determined men. The whale lies in the waters awaiting Jonah’s fate.

Noah’s Ark

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1990

 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. Genesis 7: 13 – 16

New Testament
Old Testament (4)
New Testament (21)
Other
Calendars (5)
Christmas cards (10)
Annunciation
Hand colored kappazuri stencil print on momigami wrinkled paper
1972

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Luke 1: 28-29

Annunciation

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1990

…In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Luke 1: 26 -31


Nativity

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1972

Nativity

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1982

Old Testament (4)
New Testament (21)
Other
Calendars (5)
Christmas cards (10)
Madonna and Child

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1984

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary. Matthew 2: 11

Mary firmly hold the baby Jesus close to her. Her expression is pensive and her protecting gesture adds to the impression that she appears to sense the future to come.

Shepherds Visit the Christ Child
Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper

Shepherds in the Field
Stencil print

Presentation
Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1982

Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord...there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon….He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ…. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel. Luke 2: 21-38

Mary and Joseph come to the temple for the presentation of their child. Jospeh holds two turtledoves as an offering and Simon holds the baby, the moment he has awaited all his life as he says “My eyes have seen your salvation.”


Old Testament (4)
New Testament (21)
Other
Calendars (5)
Christmas cards (10)
Adoration of the Magi

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper

Three magi, each holding their gift, bow humbly in worship before the Christ child who stretches out his arm to greet them. Mary is wide eyed and stunned at what is happening.

Flight to Egypt

Hand colored kappazuri stencil print on momigami wrinkled paper
1967

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Matthew 2: 13
Three Fishermen

Hand colored kappazuri stencil print on momigami wrinkled paper


Boat in a Storm

Hand colored kappazuri stencil print on momigami wrinkled paper
1973

Christ in Boat

Stencil print on handmade washi paper
1985

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Matthew 8: 24,25

Old Testament (4)
New Testament (21)
Other
Calendars (5)
Christmas cards (10)
Miraculous Draught of Fish

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1967

He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. Luke 5: 4-7

Woman at the Well

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1975

So he came to a town in Samaria … Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” … The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” John 4: 4-15

Jesus’ long pointing finger suggests authoritative words as he speaks to the Woman of Samaria. She seems to bow her head in prayerful remorse


Good Shepherd

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1975

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Luke 10: 11

Jesus bends over very so gently to caress the lost sheep that has been found.

Old Testament (4)
New Testament (22)
Other
Calendars (5)
Christmas cards (10)
Healing the Blind

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1975

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. ….. he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam”. So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Christ stretches out a long finger to touch the blind man’s eye: he bends forward, raising one hand toward heaven as a bird looks on. The scene is imbued with expectant tension expressed in every pose, gesture and design.

Entry into Jerusalem

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1979

When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. Mark 11: 7-11

Last Supper

Hand colored kappazuri stencil print on momigami wrinkled paper
1990

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26: 26-28

Old Testament (4)
New Testament (22)
Other
Calendars (5)
Christmas cards (10)
Last Supper

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1975
From the Bowden Collections

Jesus sits at the table surrounded by his disciples. Two bottles of Saki with accompanying glasses along with several small loaves of bread await the moment that Chist will tell them that ‘This is my body…This is my blood.”

Christ Carrying the Cross

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1994

Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). John 19:17

Resurrection Morning

Hand Colored stencil print on handmade washi paper
1975

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb…The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said…Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28: 1,5,6,9, 10

Mary Magdalene kneels in a pose of worship when she realizes that she has seen the Risen Christ. Jesus, dressed in a long kimono, holds a flag of victory that has come to represent the Resurrection.


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

1987 Noah’s Ark

1992 The Crucifixion

1993 Mary Washes Jesus’ Feet
2004 Angel Appears to the Shepherds

2006 Jesus Washes Peter’s Feet

10 Christmas Cards, Stencil print


The Watanabe show rents for  $400 a month (four weeks).
With the rental of two months the third month is free.  


® 2013 Sandra Bowden | Site design by isleydesign.com