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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Kintsugi 金継ぎ

Updated: Jan 14

Kintsugi (金継ぎ, "golden joinery"), also known as kintsukuroi (金繕い, "golden repair"), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum; the method is similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

As a philosophy, kintsugi is similar to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. Japanese aesthetics values marks of wear from the use of an object. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken; it can also be understood as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting cracks and repairs as events in the life of an object, rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage. The philosophy of kintsugi can also be seen as a variant of the adage, "Waste not, want not".

Kintsugi can relate to the Japanese philosophy of mushin (無心, "no mind"), which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change, and fate as aspects of human life.

Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated... a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin....Mushin is often literally translated as "no mind," but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. ...The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself. — Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics

Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken broken objects with gold that, as much, have lost their value. This art becomes a philosophy of life by applying the same concept to the wounds that cause us pain during life. Recognising wounds and any mistakes gives us the opportunity to work on our soul and not remain in shame and remorse but rebuild our wounds and embellish them with humility and rebirth to new life... Repair our wounds with Gold - this is the message from my Italian friends Valeria Barbieri and Adele Lombardozzi...

The photos are just taken on the streets of Venice during Carnevale and using natural lighting only...we make use of what we have to achieve the best results possible.

This is Kintsugi - Beauty in Imperfection...More beautiful for having been broken...

A very different kind of Venice Carnevale set of photos...something very real, something very original...

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