Kintsukuroi and the Art of Self Repair
Updated: May 2, 2020
This semester I have been greatly inspired by the idea and process surrounding the Japanese technique kintsukuroi. Kintsukuroi is a process used often to repair broken pottery using a lacquer made of gold or another precious metal, effectively making the piece more beautiful after the repair than it was before having been broken.
The idea of a piece being beautiful even after breaking is one I wanted to highlight in my recent works. Metaphorically I believe this is a beautiful concept, especially in a time when so many humans feel broken or undervalued, and in the kintsukuroi process instead of hiding the fractures they are actually highlighted. It was this thought process that inspired me to do this work consisting of a mix of mediums including a take on traditional kintsukuroi, and other pieces inspired by the process.
Leading up to the final project within this statement, I realized that the metaphor began to matter much more than the medium in my current art endeavors. I decided to teach myself how to do small scale tattooing, and used gold ink to fill in the self harm scars on my own body. This, along with the other pieces in this portfolio, I did as a testament to self-repair, and the idea that being broken does not equate to a reason to be tossed out or given up on. This is an art piece that I will carry with me everywhere, giving others the opportunity to ask “why” something so simple and not easily understood would be tattooed on my skin. In this way, I will be able to share my efforts in encouraging self repair through conversation and example for years to come.