kintsugi: repaired brokenness photography?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jtk, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    I just came across the idea of kintsugi in a photo context. Thank you David Brown:

    https://www.valerieyaklin-brown.com/4403523-flawed#1 (click on the tiny link boxes upper right)

    Has to do with saving (or even rebirthing) something that was damaged, perhaps making it better than it was before.

    Do you recognize the term or perhaps practice kintsugi ? With damaged prints? With damaged subjects?

    Dead Link Removed

    https://makezine.com/2015/08/17/kintsugi-japanese-art-recognizing-beauty-broken-things/
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  2. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member

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    Dunno, a little too deep for me. I used to donate junk work prints to an artist for cutting up collage work. But artist moved away. I try to recycle photos and films in my archive that don't make the grade.I hate trashing stuff like this if it can be recycled.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  3. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    I photographed "damaged" churches.
     
  4. 4season

    4season Member

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    Very much interested in this but have not tried it to date. Got a seriously corroded Hasselblad 500c body, and ground away much of the blistered chrome and powdery oxidized base metal with the idea of filling with powdered gold + lacquer, but real urushi is nasty stuff until fully cured, basically the same active ingredient as poison ivy. Also wondered if clear epoxy mixed with powdered metal might be a better choice for this application.
     
  5. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    Pffft! We've been repairing broken crockery for generations, just couldn't afford any better than glue. Someone puts a fancy name on something and markets it as art and people with too much money and no imagination fall all over it.
    Think people have been experimenting in all sorts of picture manipulation.
    I usually start with a perfectly good picture then when I finished in the darkroom its a complete mess. Im going to think of a fancy name and pretend it art, someone will buy it..

    Ive built entire HIFI systems using some bought parts but mostly re purposing stuff from my junk pile. Heres my record player build, its not hard its just joining bits and pieces together so they look aesthetically pleasing and engineer it all to run with the upmost precision while working on the floor of the garage. http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/285362-lenco-record-player-build.html
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Yes, I have heard and seen examples of Japanese kintsugi. It is a very interesting and powerful concept. The idea of repairing an object (or life) -- not just fixing it, but accepting and elevating the damage into the whole -- is not a common thought process in the Western world.

    I have never incorporated the concept into my art, but I am giving the concept some thought. How does it relate to the loss of my son? Is it possible to replace/repair a piece of one's heart and soul in such a way that the repair is, not necessarily greater than the original whole, but somehow as whole.

    If you cannot tell me how to do this, then you have not grasp the concept of kintsugi. If you can, please do, because I cannot.
     
  7. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Nothing "fancy" about it at all. Simply taking a practice from one art form and applying it to another.
    And, no, people with "too much money" are not falling all over it. But the few times the work was shown it did generate some interesting discussion--by some very imaginative and innovative people.

    Go for it! Its a really big world out there and there's plenty of room for all our work. :smile:

    Isn't it wonderful?! Makes life so much more interesting!
     
  8. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    Perhaps, but I cant see it that way. Doesn't take me to a point in time or another place, couldn't even play my old Nina Simone records or be used for its original purpose for that mater. Guess this is for the educated, the rest of us (or just me) can just be bemused.
     
  9. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I had never heard the term before, but I like it on multiple levels. Living in a disposable society I find the "rescue" of broken items to make more sense than tossing things out for reparable flaws. Also, as someone with a tendency to anthropomorphize inanimate objects (like the feeling I attribute to a camera that hasn't been used in decades), I appreciate the spiritual nature of the concept.
    As for her photographs, I think it works better in some than others, but overall enjoyed them. I also took a look at her other work and liked them a lot, especially Eye Feminie. Is she related to David?
    Thanks for posting this. A day when you're introduced to the work of a new photographer is a good one...
     
  10. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    This is a topic of considerable importance to me. All my life I have had to deal with broken things, both physical and otherwise.

    Just last year I mentioned wabi-sabi here:

    Taking pics of everything and nothing.....

    But I think it is more about accepting inevitable imperfection than "finding beauty in broken or old things."

    I am exactly like this.

    I've never thought about how I might use photography with this concept - either to illustrate where the practice of kintsugi has been successful or as a means to resolve my way of dealing with a broken item that has emotional value.

    For example, when I was 12 I made a radio transmitter at school and I was very proud of it (these were the days of tubes). I have several black & white photos of me holding the parts of the transmitter as my work progressed and was completed. Then, over 30 years later, my father destroyed the transmitter (it became an inadvertent object of his rage). I cannot describe the sense of loss and despair I felt - not so much for the object itself, but for what it represented in my life and that it was my father who did it. Someone could have killed me then and I would not have cared. I saved the pieces, but I don't know what to do -- surely not photograph it as it is. If I tried to bring it to some condition that was not hideous, perhaps that would make me feel better, but I think the original photos from 50+ years ago are the only ones that should exist.
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Education is free and easily available...the uneducated (but educated enough to use a computer, learn photography, etc) remain uneducated as a personal choice.
     
  12. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    You should repair it. It would be great to have it working again. Leave some of the damage, it adds character.......to you and the radio.
    Just to add to that @Theo Sulphate I have made a couple of modest tube amp stuff, keeping with the theme of recycling. Things you make yourself always sound better, much better than using some gold glue and sticking somebody else's work together and calling it art, mind you it would probably be worth more .... do you know where I can get some gold glue?
    travis design phono stage a.jpg finished 3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  13. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    Im happy to be educated in the matter (I went to school to learn how to become a good worker, I didnt get to do art), but at the end if I cant see any difference in an old picture taped together with some cellophane tape than this, what excuse do I have then, maybe ignorance.
    Plenty of people have and still repurposed broken things( Im sure you have done so yourself, I certainly have and do), but that is not considered art, thats just the way it is.
     
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  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    As I said, how far (if at all) one wants to explore new knowledge and ideas is a personal choice. That is not a judgement (right/wrong, good/bad), just my opinion on how the world works. One thing I do question is those who put down something that they will not even try to understand.

    Edited to get rid of the unneeded Pffft!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  16. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    Terrific stuff!!!
     
  17. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    Hey Im happy to understand if someone will explain to me. I am not ignorant, far from it, just a bit thick. I went to school in a time and place where they would humiliate, punish and occasionally beat if you didnt understand how to spell. All that did was disengage me, first opportunity I had to leave school I took. Didnt read a novel till I was 20 then I read heaps, very slow, but I read. Luckly for use lot Im pretty good at using spell check. I can operate a computer even though I have never been taught how, can pull apart a car and put it back together, maybe minus a few parts, can build a house from scratch, recently learnt how to build speakers and amplifiers and stuff. Now I spend hours in my darkroom trying to get the pictures in my head on paper, I come here and else where looking for guidance, trying to learn.
    I have an appreciation of some art, am mesmerized by Blue Poles for instance, it is so brilliant in every way, it has form and flow that isnt lost whether you stand close or far away etc.
    Is it like in where school if they cant teach you then its your fault.
    This looks no more to me than than gluing of old crockery with gold glue (think they would look better if it were clear glue, golds for the rich), the only creativity I see is in the marketing. Hope one day I will see it as something else.
     
  18. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Too bad we are so far apart, geographically. I would so enjoy sitting down over a beverage and talk about what led to this project. Lots of little ideas that converged. Nothing at all to do with marketing, but with life. Sadly, its very hard for me to get that across in an artist statement. FYI--Blue Poles is one of my favorites, too!
     
  19. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    Congratulations on your project Valerie. I like the idea of using kintsugi, which is much older than photography, on photographs. It would be interesting to find some old cracked paper prints from the 1920s and work with them in this way.
     
  20. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    This is the type of self-indulgent pretentious nonsense that turns me off contemporary art photography.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  21. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    Well at least you edited out the personal insult to the photographer, who is an apugger and is participating in this thread, a thread that she did not start.

    Perhaps jtk would consider editing his original post? For obvious reasons it would be nice to know when the conceptual work of a fellow community member is offered up by another.
     
  22. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Valerie, I had no idea this was your work. It’s nice that it’s one of our own.
     
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    jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    Valerie, it didn't occur to me that you were on Photrio tho I may have commented on your Media images. This must be obvious: I admire your kintsugi images, wish I could see them in person.

    jawarden, I linked to Valerie's website because a few thoughtful Photrio participants would appreciate it. I found her on the back page of another member's website, for which I thanked him (above).

    There are many excellent photo-centric websites. I've recently gotten a lot from onportraits.com but lenscratch.com might be especially interesting to MFA types (the ultimate artist statement enthusiasts )
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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    jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    Sometimes it's good to notice (and even labor to appreciate) what some other people appreciate. That doesn't mean everybody needs to labor or to appreciate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  25. twelvetone12

    twelvetone12 Member

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    I absolutely loved Valerie's images an the concept behind them. They remind be a lot Berio's Rendering, one of my ever favorite music pieces, which is based on a similar concept, with a similar new and beautiful result.
     
  26. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    I like them too, both the stated concept and the resulting work. And it strikes me that like repairing a vessel, a little gold goes a very long way. To my eye it's easy to overpower a piece with gold, and I find myself drawn to the ones that use less of it, whether a vessel or a print. I'm also wondering about other materials for the repaired areas that could be of interest in addition to gold. It's fertile ground.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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