The perfectly perfect art of kintsugi

I adore imperfection. Imperfection is, to me, perfection, because it’s real.

My life is imperfect in some crucial ways (let’s face it, whose isn’t?) but – you know what? – that’s a relief.

I think that if everything’s always brilliant and dazzling, the pressure must be on to keep it that way, rather than accepting the resourcefulness and providence that comes out of mistakes, mishaps and plans not quite going your way.

I think this philosophy of triumphing through happenstance applies to objects as well as people (as artists will no doubt tell you). I thought this when I saw this kintsugi ceramics repair kit at @swaygallerylondon this morning (top left).

Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery using gold, of emphasising the marks and scars of a broken object instead of trying to invisibly mend and pretend it hasn’t been on its own character-forming journey.

Apparently, the method (which began in late 15th century China) became such a hype that some collectors deliberately started smashing valuable pottery so it could be repaired with the gold lines of kintsugi.

From what I can see, we dedicate endless amounts of time trying to ‘perfectify’ our lives. Maybe we should be spending more time seeing the liberating beauty of it being a little bit broken.

Martha, The Colour File x

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