August 03, 2015
There is a Japanese art that takes broken ceramics and fixes them using seams of gold, Kintsukuroi (or Kintsugi) creates a new object that is more beautiful for having been broken.
The belief that showing the history of the object adds value, that the cracks and the scars create an imperfection and beauty that only comes through such vulnerability and healing, is a concept that connects us to objects in a very human form. For her recent MOMA exhibition Yoko Ono produced a range of espresso cups with Illy that show moments in time that shattered her life and that have been fixed with Kintsugi.
These include world events such as the My Lai Massacre, the bombing of Dresden, and of course the shooting of John. Each saucer also declares “And mended in 2015”. They are quite beautiful, and slightly strange, but what else would you expect from Yoko.
WhenClive Wilkinson Architects designed the world’s largest desk spanning 4,400 square feet for the 125 employees of marketing firm The Barbarian Group, I remember them talking about using Kintsukuroi to highlight any cracks or scratches that appear – I would love to see an updated photo of it now.
Things break, we drop them, scratch them, and shatter them into pieces, it is not the end. With some love and respect, and of course a bit of clever thinking something beautiful will exist.