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  • Writer's pictureAmy Burvall

Kintsukuroi Project: Beauty in the Broken


In my keynote at Alan November’s Building Learning Communities in Boston this summer, I mentioned a Japanese aesthetic I am particularly drawn to – kintsukuroiLiterally it means “golden repair” or “golden joinery”. I really love the fact that it strives to accept and accentuate the imperfect – to find, as I said “beauty in the broken”.

In the keynote I used this in respect to education but it hits home in a very personal way. I have always, since having multiple surgeries and what not from my breast cancer diagnosis 9 years ago, identified a bit with this concept. Therefore, in addition to my #morethanbody art series for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October I’d like to do another, more subtle but equally poignant project.

Basically, I will take photos of broken, cracked, falling apart, etc. objects and accentuate their flaws with my signature pink, similar to the traditional gold fill (I will use Paper by 53). These will serve as reminders of the #brokenisbeautiful aesthetic.

Here is an example ( a little wooden elephant figurine missing a foot that I found in my daughter’s room):


Here’s the deal – if YOU have any images of broken, cracked, in-general-shambles-yet-still-exquisite things you’d like to send me please do! Send them to my gmail at or @amyburvall on Twitter. I will try to incorporate them in the October project.



#Japan #photography #october #beauty #breastcancer #kintsukuroi #amyburvall

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