Kintsugi artists

8 Japanese Kintsugi Artists: Masters of Golden Repair

What is kintsugi?

Kintsugi is one of the traditional Japanese techniques. It refers to a restoration technique in which broken or chipped ceramics or glasses are joined with gold or lacquer so that they can be used again. In today's world of overflowing goods, many people tend to buy new things when things break. However, in the aesthetics of gold repair, the seams that bond fragments to fragments are considered to be new patterns, and the emphasis is on creating new value.

Rather than reproducing the same object as in the past, the idea is to breathe new life into the form and shape of the present, and to find and appreciate value in this new form and shape. It is said that the kintsugi technique as we know it today was established more than 400 years ago, when the tea ceremony was established. It can be said that the kintsugi technique, which combines traditional techniques with modernity and boasts a long history, is attracting attention not only in Japan but also around the world.

Why is Kintsugi beautiful?

A pottery restored by kintsugi becomes unique one in this world. The charm of this technique is that no two pieces are exactly alike in their gold or lacquer joints, and the wabi-sabi feeling of a new pottery can be felt. The characteristic of kintsugi is that even if a cherished pottery is broken, a new value is created, and the attachment to it grows stronger. Perhaps it is this philosophy of accepting the present as it is and looking toward the future, rather than trying to recapture the past, that attracts so many people to the art of kintsugi.

8 Japanese Kintsugi artists

We would like to introduce eight artists who are active in Japan and around the world in the field of kintsugi, a craft that fascinates many people. They are very attractive and spread the fascination of kintsugi through exhibitions and workshops.

Kyoko Ohwaki

ohwaki kyoko kintsugi

Kyoko Owaki is a kintsugi artist based in Kamakura, Japan, who began teaching herself kintsugi in 2009 and successfully held a solo exhibition and demonstration of her kintsugi works at the gallery "turtle&hare" in California in 2014. Currently, she is active as a kintsugi instructor in Kamakura and throughout Japan, and also actively holds workshops to promote kintsugi.

Yukako Tanaka

yukako tanaka kintsugi

Yukako Tanaka is a ceramic artist and kintsugi master. She has developed a technique called "modern kintsugi," which is a sustainable modern version of the traditional kintsugi technique. Kintsugi, a traditional repair technique, uses natural materials "urushi" (lacquer) and "kin" (gold), but modern kintsugi uses a hybrid chemical solvent called "new urushi," which follows the tradition. It is easy to handle, does not cause rashes, and the gold powder is non-metallic, so people with metal allergies can use it safely.

Tomomi Kamoshita

tomomi kamoshita kintsugi

Tomomi Kamoshita began creating modern kintsugi works out of a desire to "make use of damaged vessels. She has exhibited in New York and Paris, and is expanding her activities around the world. Her works, which are modern interpretations of the traditional technique of kintsugi, attract many people.

Taku Nakano

taku nakano kintsugi

Taku Nakano is a ceramicist and kintsugi artist with a studio in Omotesando, Tokyo. Originally an office worker, he became a potter at the age of 36. Since then, his flexible and free works produced from an original point of view have been highly acclaimed. He also teaches ceramics and actively holds workshops.

Takehito Kobayashi

wad cafe kintsugi

Originally running a vase-subscription service, Kobayashi began working with kintsugi when a client approached him. After learning himself kintsugi techniques, he opened a “wad café”. While exhibiting his work, he opened the café so that many people could become familiar with the art of kintsugi. He is also actively holding kintsugi classes, and is introducing the charm of kintsugi to the world, including countries outside of Japan.

Ai Moriya

ai moriya kintsugi

Based in Germany, Ai Moriya is a kintsugi artist, fine artist, and graphic designer. After studying design at an art college and working as a graphic designer in Tokyo, she moved to Berlin in 2017 where she has been working since. In Berlin, he has held exhibitions and expanded his activities.

Naoko Fukumaru

naoko fukumaru kintsugi

A Vancouver-based kintsugi artist, Naoko spent over 25 years as a ceramic restorer before becoming a kintsugi artist. She has exhibited her work in Vancouver to many people. He is also promoting Kintsugi through "The Art of Kintsugi," an online event in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan.

Kunio Nakamura

kunio nakamura kintsugi

In 2008, he founded the book café "roku-jigen" and began offering kintsugi workshops; the work he produces has received critical acclaim, including an award in 2018 for "KINTSUGI Pieces IN HARMONY," a campaign to promote Japanese craft and philosophy.