The Enduring Relevance of Kintsugi, the Japanese Art of Repairing Broken Ceramics
Is our obsession with newness an ailment of capitalism? Kintsugi, the traditional Japanese art of mending broken pottery, has been around for more than four centuries—but its philosophy of embracing flaws and imperfection to create something uniquely beautiful has only recently begun to resonate with Western cultures. The practice—which derives from the word kintsukuroi, meaning “golden repair”—sees breakage as a valuable asset that adds to an object’s history. Fragments are pieced back together with lacquer, then dusted or mixed with fine metal powders, such as gold, silver, or platinum, to emphasize cracks, rather than conceal them.