Monday, April 16, 2012

Black-Asian Worship Banner

Custom worshp banner created for our 2004 "Crossings" Black-Asian worship conference at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, supported by a worship renewal grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; designed by Marie Pueblos Onwubuariri and made by Wally Bryen. The combination of Kente cloth and a Chinese brocade felt risky, both symbolically (e.g., did we really know what each pattern "meant"?) and artistically. But we decided to take the risk. It turned out magnificently.

Here's the banner in place at the front of the chapel we used. Jae Choung is performing his song, "Do you see us, O God?" (from the 2003 "Waterwind" conference). Seated behind him are James Abbington, Aeri Lee, and James Choung. Note the green African fabric covering the lectern in the foreground.

We came up with the original ideas when we put together this promotional postcard for the event:

In general, visual expressions of identity and culture seem to be an especially useful entree into cultural contextualization. They communicate a lot, quickly; they communicate throughout the worship event (unlike things that are said or sung, and thus come and go); and they are relatively easy to create and install.

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