Deng Bin is one of China’s few practitioners of Jin Shan, or Kintsugi in Japanese. It’s the art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.
“The demand from a specific customer group is strong,” Says Deng. “They used to send the broken wares to Japan for repairing, which is rather time consuming and costly. So they were very happy when they found someone in China can do the job.”
People don’t want to throw away the broken wares for many reasons. They might feel attached to them after using them for a long time. Another reason could be that the wares carry some special meaning. Something perhaps passed down from the father or the grandmother. They become reminders of the older generation who’ve passed away.
“Chinese people usually dislike broken things which they regard as useless and of no value,” says Deng. “However when it has been properly restored, the once broken object is reborn and its life is prolonged. That is then considered an immense gift.”
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