Saturday, 24 October 2015

G O L D E N  M E M O R I E S

Hina Nitesh

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What happens when your favourite ceramic vase/bowl slips from your hands and breaks? Of course there is a little heartbreak but what after that? For most of us, it probably ends up in the dustbin unless of course its just a chip and can be re-purposed somewhere. But can you ever imagine the broken/chipped vase becoming a centerpiece? Probably no because not many know about Kintsugi...

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The story behind Kintsugi dates back to around the 15th century when a broken lacquerware tea bowl was sent to China for repairs. It came back repaired alright but looking ugly and this made the Japanese craftsmen look for aesthetic means of repair. They discovered a technique in which the broken piece is given a new life using powdered metal like gold, silver, brass, bronze or copper mixed with lacquer.

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The repair is carried out in different ways (using a mix of metal dust and resin or lacquer) like:

Crack - In this method, the small broken pieces or voids are filled in using the mix.
Piece - In this, the broken piece with missing fragments is filled with the mix and the original form recreated.
Joint - In this, the missing fragment is replaced by a similar fragment from another piece and glued together with the mix.
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"All beautiful things carry distinctions of imperfection. Your wounds and imperctions are your beauty. Like the broken pottery mended with gold, we are all Kintsugi. Its philosphy and art state that breakage and mending are honest parts of a past which should not be hidden. 

Your wounds and healing are a part of your history; a part of who you are. Every beautiful thing is damaged. You are that beauty;we all are."

This quote by Bryant Mc Gill sums up the philosophy behind this Japanese art form.

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 If ever art could leave lessons for life, this is it.

A modern take on this traditional art form in seen in the works of Jan Vormann. He uses plastic building blocks to repair corners and fill holes in broken walls. The small colourful pieces seem to weave a story of their own which adds to the original. It is quite a pleasure to see spurts of colour where otherwise would be broken plaster or a gaping hole. 

Not only does this add a little playfulness to the otherwise drab landscape, it also helps create memories!

Image courtesy- Jan Vormann

You can see more of Jan Vormann works here

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