Fixing Cracked Streets with Gold

You know how to fix the cracked streets everyone? Recently this contemporary artist Rachel Sussman is trying to mend cracks in our urban environment with her series Sidewalk Kintsukuroi. Actually Sussman is inspired by kintsugi or well known as kintsukuroi. This Kintsugi art is actually a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. And then,  Sussman brings this philosophy to city pavements.

In the beginning, it’s this Japanese aesthetic philosophy of wabi-sabi already attracted the attention of Sussman as an image of repaired broken pottery sparked her imagination. And as chance would have it, she discovered the photograph of kintsugi around the time when her book The Oldest Living Things in the World was being published.

A new installation and studies from Sidewalk Kintsukuroi are currently part of the Alchemy: Transformations in Gold exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center. After spending 10 years photographing ancient organisms for that project, it was a natural next step to play with the idea of repairing what is broken.

As mentioned in his artist statement, Sussman wrote that, “Cracks represent something in need of attention, and the surfaces we walk, bike, and drive over are usually overlooked until they’re in truly critical condition. By gilding them, it’s a way to see what’s around us with fresh eyes and to celebrate perseverance.”