Monday, April 18, 2016

Golden joinery

On Saturday we crossed the Hudson River and ventured to the Putnam County town of Cold Spring and checked out some art galleries. Geometry/Gesture, a 7-artist group show of paintings and sculpture, was on exhibit at Buster Levi Gallery on Main Street. Upon closer look at Ada Pilar Cruz’s work Game 11, a rectangle of wood fired clay pressed with circles, I immediately recognized the artist’s incorporation of Kintsugi into her piece. Kintsugi, meaning “golden joinery,” is the Japanese art of using brightly colored lacquer to fill cracks in pottery. Not only is a damaged piece restored, but the color, usually gold, purposefully brings attention to the imperfection.  

For one of my Toastmasters speeches I presented on the Japanese idea of embracing imperfection, known as wabi-sabi. One of my examples was the art of bonsai, in which miniature trees are cultivated to look ancient and some even are even manipulated to appear struck by lightening or worn by years of wind from living high on a cliff. Kintsugi was another example I used to illustrate wabi-sabi. The art stands in stark contrast to contemporary values of perfection and consumerism, and I found Pilar Cruz’s use of the technique an unexpected and welcome surprise.  

Ada Pilar Cruz:
Buster Levi Gallery:

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