Kintsugi: Stronger, Bolder, Golder

Blog 7 Oct 2020
A defiant yet solemn female portrait with jagged golden lines to emulate the golden lines traditionally seen in Kintsugi pottery

Kintsugi roughly translates into ‘Golden Joinery’ and is the traditional Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with golden resin. 

It’s a topic that I was inspired by not only cause I find it aesthetically pleasing, or that upcycling helps climate change, but because I am personally drawn to the philosophy behind this traditional practice. Kintsugi is based on the idea that broken ceramics should not be neglected or thrown away, but rather, we should treat them with respect whilst paying homage to their past. By embracing the flaws and imperfections of said object a novel unique beauty can be found that would not have been possible had the object not broken. 

A ceramic bowl repaired with kintsugi technique

I see it as a wonderful philosophy for life (warning confusing extended metaphor incoming).

In modern day society there is an ever-growing culture of perfectionism, especially within the medical field. With the use of social media it is now easier than ever to control our individual narratives; to hide our faults and selectively highlight our triumphs. This culture can lead to warped perceptions of reality, burnout, imposter syndrome and mental health issues. It can be difficult to voice concerns, struggles and doubts in what seems like an ocean of accomplishment - it is easier to stay silent and camouflage our bruised egos which propagates the illusion.

I think it is important to remember to that our ‘cracks’ are symbols of the journey we have been through and that rather than being unsightly it is these very cracks that make us unique, give us beauty and inner strength. It makes us golden.

Just like Kintsugi embraces imperfections and celebrates them I think we need to pay homage to the personal journeys we’ve gone through. I say lets start being more open about our broken pieces, you’ve worked hard to mend them, why not celebrate what you’ve overcome? In doing so you may inspire someone and help mend their own broken pieces.