Rearranging the shards in a broken world

A friend recently introduced me to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. Japanese aesthetics values marks of wear from the use of an object. This can be a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and seen as a justification of Kintsugi itself. Kintsugi is the philosophy of highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage and therefore acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life.

While media circles images of terrorism, attacks, tension, disasters, poverty, war and refugees, our micro world might be shattered by death, illness, loss, loneliness and pain. 

After a while wounds might heal and, cautiously, we pick up the broken pieces and carefully re-assemble the shards. Feeling happiness, moving forward, doesn’t make the broken pieces any less cutting. By acknowledging the pain, even in joyful times, we remind ourselves that life exists in a delicate balance. 

As much as we sometimes try to hold on to established traditions, change is inevitable and essential for survival. By rearranging the shards we build a new base for our communities without discarding the past by wiping out the events that caused it. On an individual basis, we allow ourselves to reconnect with the outer world, treasuring the memory along with newly gained empathy and strength.

My current work is acknowledging the beauty of the past by giving it the possibility to be rearranged in multiple new combinations.

Shibuichi and several other silver copper ratio based alloys are used in order to achieve a multicoloured surface and to resonate  globalisation and mixing of ethnicities, nationalities and religions. While the two metals coexist visibly in some pieces a homogenous alloy is created in others. Husk-like, the fragments contrast in colour and texture. While one side appears dark, threnodial, mystic, static and melancholic, the other side exalts the abundance of colours in a vibrant joyful manner.

Based on the idea of the world breaking apart and being reassembled, the pieces build a globe in which all parts are moveable against each other. Therefore multiple combinations and the creation of a ‘new’ world is possible.

To symbolize the fragility of our micro world and the global situation “the world is hanging on a string”, here a silk string in relation to the German saying “Die Welt haengt an einem seidenen Faden” (The world has a silk thread.).

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