Kintsugi (golden joinery), also known as Kintsukuroi (golden repair) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.
This belief not only embraces imperfection, it requires it. By illuminating the break and restoring connectivity to the object, the object transcends itself in a way that would not have been originally possible. This art takes mindfulness, diligence and an eye that both embraces what is there while simultaneously seeing beyond it.
I find such meaning and freedom in this art form, this cultural rebellion of sorts. It shines a light on the pursuit of perfection and exposes it as a faulty premise. The intention is to highlight the break and infuse new life through the object rather than discarding it and replacing it with a new one. It uses the wounds, scars and fractures as an entry point for transformation.
What I find equally compelling in this process is the artist’s hand in it all. The artist is not deterred by the brokenness, but inspired by it. They see immense value in salvaging the object and in tangibly actualizing the transformation. I draw direct parallels between this powerful process and the human journey. This ebb and flow, this synergy is what allows us to be permanently and meaningfully linked to each other. We are at times the object, at times the artist. On one side, we have the unique opportunity to see others with new eyes, eyes of acceptance and creativity. In helping to restore others, a part of us becomes restored. On the other side, as we gain the ability to let others shine light into our lives, we become less breakable and more resilient. We begin a parallel journey, one where we all walk collectively and steadily forward. It reminds us, once again, that we cannot do it alone- that true connectivity is both synergistic and collaborative.
I look inside of you and see an opportunity
I do not see a shattering
Just a separation, a break
A chance to awaken something inside
Find a way
A piece of me worth keeping
And I will be your bird’s eye view
Shining a light and
Seeing your journey through
Together breaking, then mending
Repairing then transcending
Your scars remind me of a place I’ve been, too
I’ll hold your hand steady
As our bodies become maps
When you’re ready
Come with me, come near
We’ll cast out our shame, our fear
The rebellion begins here