Sergey Makhno Architects
May 30, 2018
#ihadnoidea what throwing away a broken cup is like. A pile of shatters on the floor means that the life of the cup has come to an end, and soon it will rest in peace among the other home rubbish. Perhaps that is why secret Santas and St. Valentines’s favorite presents are cups.
We love gifting cups each other as if it is never too much.
Japanese think different. If the cup is broken, they will carefully gather the shatters and glue them along. The technique of the product renewal is called “kintsugi”. And often it gets even more beautiful than the original item.
“Kin” – golden, “tsugi” – connection
In order to glue along a broken cup or a plate, they usually use liquid gold or silver. A cheaper option is the varnish or resin mixed with the powders. In both the first and the second variant, the cracks are not hidden but are left visible. A transformation from ugly to exquisite. Intentionally emphasized cracks and chaotic patterns make the item more valuable and show the history behind it.
Kintsugi appeared in the 15th century. Japanese shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his favorite cup and ordered to fix it. The cup was sent to China, where the local masters gave it a bad time and glue it along with big iron clips.
And just according to the scrip, Ashikara was mad. His servants were looking for a more esthetical way to give the cup the original look. And invented a new art – kintsugi, with chaos and order being united into one entity.
The concept is close to the wabi-sabi philosophy. Behind the idea of “the fixing one’s cup” there’s a self-acceptance of one’s shortages and incompletenesses. When every scar is a peculiarity.
You don’t have to be perfect in order to be the art. That what Kintsugi is all about.
Author – Anastasia Savchenko
Visual – Dmitriy Savva