By Molly Connolly
When we started the conversation with Wheaton College this past June about the possibility of designing an art exhibit around the novel Silence by Shusaku Endo, we weren’t quite sure where it would lead. Like so many other projects in our Silence journey we simply knew we had to walk through this open door.
Due in part to the fact that Endo’s novel is part of Wheaton’s core curriculum, and even more so due to the generosity of the professors, curators and administration, Wheaton agreed to take the lead in designing an exhibit that would feature period hidden Christian Japanese artifacts as well as modern art by the artist Makoto Fujimura, whose recent book Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering, was inspired by Endo’s work.
After it’s time at Wheaton, the exhibit displayed in New York City’s Fulton J. Sheen Center and this week, “Stepping Into Silence” opened in the Library at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA where it will be displayed through January.
Also, today, December 23rd, Scorsese’s beautiful adaptation of the novel opens in select theaters. The film will have a wider release in January and Regent is planning on featuring the exhibit and highlighting different Silence stories on CBN, the network which is broadcast out of their campus, as well as planning for influencers such as Mako to come and speak to students and faculty about the themes that Silence wrestles with, all of which we hope will spark conversation and shed light on this important moment.
As the on-site curator of this traveling exhibit having “Stepping Into Silence” displayed for a third time is a wonderful Christmas present for me. I’m thrilled that a third institution is able to host our little exhibit and hope that this provides the opportunity for more people to come into contact with Endo’s masterpiece and be transformed by it’s message.