Arts & Culture: The Japanese Art of Kintsugi


Kintsugi (金継ぎ, "golden joinery"), also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い, "golden repair"), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e techni…

Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method 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. This work was created by Italian artist Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba, who was recently featured at This Is Glamorous.


Arts & Culture: The Japanese Art of Kintsugi

Lacquerware is a longstanding tradition in Japan, and at some point kintsugi may have been combined with maki-e as a replacement for other ceramic repair techniques. One theory is that kintsugi may have originated when Japanese shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China for repairs in the late 15th century. When it was returned, repaired with ugly metal staples, it may have prompted Japanese craftsmen to look for a more aesthetic means of repair. Collectors became so enamored with the new art that some were accused of deliberately smashing valuable pottery so it could be repaired with the gold seams of kintsugi. Kintsugi became closely associated with ceramic vessels used for chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony). While the process is associated with Japanese craftsmen, the technique was also applied to ceramic pieces of other origins including China, Vietnam, and Korea. [Source]

 


All work & images via Marcantonio, who says of his work, “KINTSUGI (Seletti) Just as life leaves scars that make our body unique, so the ancient Kintsugi technique teaches us to embellish the cracks of our favorite plates and cups with gold, giving them new life in your house.”

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