Finding a metaphor for our fractured lives in Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of mending the broken
The following is excerpted from a presentation by YTI artist in resident Kurt Caddy. Caddy’s complete video presentation can be found here.
Is it possible that something beautiful can come from something broken?
I would suggest that Kintsugi helps visualize that. For me, it’s showing that this bowl could have been thrown away; but instead, it was mended in such a way that it’s beautiful in its own way.
And you clearly know it’s broken. There’s no mistaking it; there’s no hiding it; there’s no acting like it never happened. It’s saying that it’s possible for something beautiful to come from something broken, which is exactly what the Scriptures teach us.
Isaiah 61 talks about the coming day when the Messiah is going to come and bind up the broken-hearted, then you skip down several more verses and it talks about how there’s going to be an exchange—you’re going to be given beauty for ashes. It’s this concept of a transfer of brokenness and ashes being transformed into something different, something beautiful.
In Kintsugi, the idea of a broken vessel is to not only repair it, but to actually repair it with such materials, and in such a way, that it’s more valuable having been broken than if it had never been broken before!