Drunken Clarity, 2011. broken beer bottles, putty, 24 carat gold, gum arabic

kintsuge beer bottles














broken beer bottles kintsuge

Drunken Clarity

Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese process in which broken crockery is repaired with the use of lacquer and gold: returning functionality and adding aesthetic value to the object. The technique can be dated back to the 15th century, its creation precipitated by the ugly repair work done to a damaged tea bowl owned by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa.

Over the years there have been accusations that valuable ceramics were purposely broken and repaired using the kintsugi technique to add to the beauty of the original object. The act of destroying something to create something new is an idea close to our own interests.

Purposely smashing something in the hope of discovering something new and beautiful is also an act endlessly carried out in countless parties across the world. In English, terms like wasted, smashed, wrecked, shattered, obliterated and trashed are often used to describe altered states of consciousness brought on by the imbibing of alcoholic beverages. The temporary destruction of the self is carried out in the hope that fun or adventures may be had that would not be possible in a sober state.

The inevitable hangover that occurs after the consumption of large quantities of alcohol can sometimes result in moments of clarity or even inspiration. The ebbing of serotonin in the body’s system and general physical lethargy can create a state of reverie that brings forth thoughts and ideas that would not otherwise be created in a healthy state. The work Drunken Clarity is a celebration or commemoration to the by-products created by the pulverisation of our minds.

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro