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Source text - English This article is part of our latest Design special report, which is about crossing the borders of space, time and media.
Artists and designers who work with ceramics and glass might be thought of as delicate types. After all, they specialize in works
that can easily break.
But the converse tends to be true. It requires steady-handed bravery to blow glass or fire up a kiln, given the melting, explosions
and shattering that are a normal part of the process.
Rui Sasaki fits this counterintuitive mold. She is soft-spoken but extremely dogged in her exploration of a tricky medium on a large
scale, as with what is perhaps her best-known work, “Liquid Sunshine/I am a Pluviophile,” a commission for the Corning Museum
of Glass in Corning, N.Y., which was on long-term view until January and is now part of the museum’s collection.
It is made of more than 200 raindrop-shape pieces of phosphorescent glass, and Ms. Sasaki spent about a year making it. She is now
working on a new version of the piece for the Toyama Glass Art Museum.
“Fragility and breaking glass is an inspiration for me,” Ms. Sasaki, 36, said from her home in Kanazawa, Japan. “Because glass is
very fragile, but it’s really strong — much stronger than iron in some ways.”
Breaking Glass and Gloomy Skies Inspire This
Translation - Japanese 打ち砕かれたガラス、立ち込める暗雲。インスピレーションの源泉はここにある。
かき消されてしまいそうな優しい語り口調でありながら、大型かつ繊細で扱いが難しい素材の探求に決してひるむことはない。代表作といえる「Liquid Sunshine/I am a Pluviophile」
English to Japanese: Japanese culture : Kintsugi - pottery restoration technique Detailed field: Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting
Source text - English Crack! Even the most beloved pottery and ceramics cannot escape its “destiny” and may eventually get chipped or cracked. But what do you do with the broken pieces? Well, in Japan, there is a restoration technique called Kintsugi to help. Kintsugi is a method of pottery repair, filling gaps, chips and cracks with lacquer, followed by an application of a, primarily, gold accent colour.
Using the Kintsugi method, the pottery becomes even more beautiful despite being chipped or broken. To discover more about the charms of Kintsugi, I visited “SHITSUGEISHA HEIAN-DO” near the DAITOKU-JI Temple complex in northern Kyoto City. This studio workshop is owned and run by Mr. Kiyokawa, an artisan who works on Kintsugi and other lacquer-related restoration work. Mr. Kiyokawa has worked on many restoration projects for Buddhist temples and Shinto Shrines. He has set up a business specialising in Kintsugi repair work for pottery, lacquerware and other historical objects. He also runs workshops for Kintsugi and gold leaf decoration experience in his studio.
According to Mr.Kiyokawa, “In Europe, restoration techniques are well respected when it comes to repairing cathedrals and paintings. However, the objective is essentially to cover up damage, whereas in the Kintsugi style of repair, the restoration is visible. Patterns are added but the original form of the piece is hardly disrupted. Because of this, people from overseas find Kintsugi to be a whole new concept.” He holds a firm belief that Kintsugi gives new life to broken objects, and that Kintsugi is a bridge between the past and the future.
His tools include brushes made of animal hair, and sometimes human hair. Tools come in various shapes depending on their purpose.
A type of mask used for Noh performance. Noh is a classical theatrical performing art that originated in medieval times and its chief characteristic is the use of masks. In this case, the repair is in white, not gold.
This is a temperature-controlled drying cupboard used to dry lacquer. It’s called a “muro”. Temperature and humidity are maintained within certain ranges.
Kintsugi workshop with Ms.Fujita, assistant to Mr.Kiyokawa. Workshop participants often come from overseas.
Gold leaf decoration workshops are also offered. After drawing patterns with fresh lacquer, a piece of gold leaf is placed on top. Once peeled off, the pattern becomes covered in gold.
Kintsugi is but one technique using lacquer. There are a variety of lacquer wares displayed in the studio’s shop. Mr.Kiyokawa insists on finishing the repair work with nothing but highest quality lacquer. Because of this, he uses Japanese-sourced lacquer from Japan. He is extremely grateful to the lacquer farmers of Japan.
The core of Kintsugi is quite simple, which is love objects by not wasting. Due to materially rich life and the development of nuclear family, this spirituality is getting lost. After all, Kintsugi is a collage of the spirituality and the aesthetics where people find something imperfect beautiful. Kintsugi is encompassed with the essence of Japanese Art. To discover Japan/Kyoto deeper, this place, SHITSUGEISHA HEIAN-DO, is a must to visit while you are around Kyoto.
Translation - Japanese 「形あるものはいつか壊れる」とばかりに、思い出が刻まれた器も、いずれ割れたりヒビが入ってしまう。そんな時、あなたならどうしますか？ 日本には「金継ぎ」という修復方法があります。「金継ぎ」とは漆で茶器などの欠けや割れを修復し、主に金色などで色目を付けて仕上げること。
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