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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

How Japanese Kintsugi Masters Restore Pottery by Beautifying the Cracks

Just a few years in the past, we featured right here on Open Tradition the Japanese artwork of kintsugi, whose practitioners restore damaged pottery with gold in a way that emphasizes quite than hides the cracks. Since then, the concept appears to have captured the Western creativeness, inspiring no few on-line investigations but in addition books with titles like Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Artwork of Nourishing Thoughts, Physique, and Spirit, and Kintsugi: Embrace Your Imperfections and Discover Happiness — the Japanese Manner. However as kintsugist Yuki Matano reminds us, “kintsugi is generally seen as a refined repairing approach in Japan. Japanese folks don’t normally affiliate kintsugi with artwork remedy or psychological well being.”

To get again to the essence of kintsugi, and achieve a clearer understanding of its laborious bodily nature, it couldn’t harm to look at a number of kintsugists at work. Take Hiroki Kiyokawa, who displays on his 45 years training the artwork in Kyoto — not with out expressing his personal concepts about how he feels he’s additionally “restoring the damaged elements of myself” — in the BBC video above.

Or, for a extra fashionable presentation, take a look at this tutorial video from Chimahaga, a kintsugist who not way back launched his personal Youtube channel devoted to explaining what he does. He’s even uploaded movies about not simply kintsugi, (金継ぎ, or “golden joinery”), but in addition gintsugi (銀継ぎ), which achieves a special however equally hanging impact utilizing silver as an alternative of gold.

Kintsugi clearly isn’t a passion you’ll be able to grasp over a number of weekends. However you don’t must be a lifelong Kyoto artisan to learn from studying it, as emphasised by psychologist Alexa Altman in the video simply above. Having realized kintsugi in Japan, she practices it right here in a considerably unconventional manner, repairing not pottery broken over time or by chance, however pottery which she’s smashed on function. The bowl, on this case, represents “some side of your self”; the hammer is “an instrument of change”; the glue is “all about connection”; the holes and cracks “will be representations of loss”; the gold is “glory, a celebration.” Whether or not or not you settle for these metaphors, those that follow kintsugi — or any craft demanding such a level of endurance and focus — certainly enhance their psychological state in so doing.

Associated Content material:

Kintsugi: The Centuries-Outdated Japanese Craft of Repairing Pottery with Gold & Discovering Magnificence in Damaged Issues

Wabi-Sabi: A Quick Movie on the Fantastic thing about Conventional Japan

20 Mesmerizing Movies of Japanese Artisans Creating Conventional Handicrafts

The Making of Japanese Handmade Paper: A Quick Movie Paperwork an 800-12 months-Outdated Custom

Watch a Japanese Craftsman Lovingly Carry a Tattered Outdated Guide Again to Close to Mint Situation

A Temporary Historical past of Japanese Artwork: From Prehistoric Pottery to Yayoi Kusama in Half an Hour

Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embody the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the e book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by means of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.

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