The Beginning of Our Kintsugi Journey
In 2014 during my Degree year at Loughborough University, I wrote a dissertation on 'Analysing Aesthetics – Analysing the relationship between Nature, Mathematics and Arts'.
That was how I discovered wabi-sabi & the art of Kintsugi.
I always strive to put my best foot forward in life, design, styling and crafting. Aiming for finesse and having an eye for detail is undoubtedly a good trait, but it's also a double-edged sword. They are the very thing that gives me the immense fear of failing / not doing well thus, holding me back.
As a food & set stylist, home decor curator and hoarder (guilty, hehe), I have a lot of props, wares and home decor that are damaged / didn't serve me anymore.
I decided to find new ways to breathe a new lease of life to these objects. I started breaking them to repurpose them and give them a new look.
Here are some of my very amateur attempts on Modern Kintsugi, the beginning of it all.
One of our very first Modern Kintsugi attempts [Sold]
It took me months of experimentation to finally settle on our current Modern Kintsugi methods, in which you will be learning in The Healing Art of Kintsugi workshop.
Speckled Trinket Bowl [Sold]
Kintsugi –– A Metaphor for Healing & Meditative Art
As humans, we tend to hide our shortcomings, imperfections, weaknesses etc.
The philosophy of Kintsugi allows me to understand my struggles, tangibly, providing self-discovery and healing.
Kintsugi teaches me that it's okay to be not okay, to be vulnerable, to show my flaws. Essentially, it's okay to be human.
I feel calm and in control when I pick up the broken pieces and bind them stroke by stroke to make it complete again.
The act of breathing a new lease of life into flawed / broken objects is liberating to me. Therefore, I practice Kintsugi in hopes to condition my mind to embrace imperfections, flaws and accidental art.
We coin our practice of Modern Kintsugi –– From Golden to Broken.
Instead of 'striving for perfection', my therapist once told me to strive for 'excellence' instead. 'Because nothing is perfect, and if you keep striving for perfection, you will never be truly happy.' she said.
On the topic of Kintsugi and therapy, Kintsugi is used as a form of therapy for healing survivors of child sexual abuse.
Watch this video:
Using the Philosophy of Kintsugi to Advocate on Mental Wellness
I have gained so much more after being open about my battle with depression. It took me 2 years to be able to open up about my struggles. I used to be afraid of possible judgement because of the stigma surrounding mental struggles.
Our respect and adoration of Kintsugi inspired us to apply the philosophy as a metaphor for healing and meditative art.
We wish to talk about mental wellness experientially and interactively through our works and workshops.
The Healing Art of Kintsugi is an experiential workshop that provides self-discovery and reflection.
Every one of our Kintsugi collections comes with a story and concept behind it.
I name the restored cracked lines after my imperfections at times. It reminds me that I'm not perfect, but I'm still standing tall as a whole.
Creating Unique & Experimental Kintsugi Pieces
As a curious creative, we pride ourselves in creating one-of-a-kind, never-seen-before pieces inspired by the philosophy of Kintsugi.
We are the 1st and only artist in Singapore to incorporate the Kintsugi philosophy with mixed medium, resulting in unique accessories and homewares.
Fragments Tray | Broken fragments suspended in resin [Coming soon]
Kintsugi Barrettes | Porcelain with gemstones and other fragments, laced with rose gold [Coming soon]
Upcycling through Modern Kintsugi
In society's relentless pursuit of perfection and throwaway culture, we are mindful that flawed & defective goods, though not broken, will risk being thrown away. Thus, we repurpose these defective objects by applying the philosophy of Kintsugi to breathe a new lease of life to them.
Be rest assured that we don't break perfectly fine pieces for the sake of Kintsugi. Instead, we upcycle flawed, imperfect, defective, rejected, broken pieces from our personal collection, manufacturers, hardware shops, restaurants etc.
In our recent Heritage Collection for National Day, we curated and bought flawed & defective homewares from a 40-year-old hardware shop run by a sweet elderly couple.
Loots from the 40-year-old hardware shop
The lady shared that it was such a waste to dispose of these defective homewares monthly when I popped by to look for wares to upcycle. So I decided to buy these at full price to reduce their loss of profit and breathe a new lease of life to these precious remnants of heritage.
Kintsugi Kopitiam Cups [Sold out]
By doing this, we can upcycle and breathe a new lease of life to defective objects while advocating on mental wellness and healing.
Now, that to us, is a win-win.
If you happen to know more channels to get pieces for upcycling, do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe that we can pay a respectful homage to the Kintsugi philosophy and craft with our understanding and insights.
Every part of our collections and workshops are designed and executed with great thoughts and considerations.
Currently, we are working hard on testing out food-safe options and practising traditional Kintsugi techniques.
I plan to visit Japan to master the art of traditional Kintsugi from the Japanese artisans when the boarders reopen!
Thank you for reading our Modern Kintsugi journey!
Here's a quote for you: