Kintsugi is the Japanese art form of repairing broken pottery using a lacquer mixed with powdered gold. Kintsugi is a type of Japanese lacquerware, with lacquerware dating back as far as 12,600 years. Kintsugi employs the lacquerware technique known as maki-e, which is the process of mixing metal pigments with a lacquer.
Instead of trying to disguise the cracks and breaks in the pottery, kintsugi aims to add history to the piece. It's traditionally associated with the ceramic vessels used in Japanese tea ceremonies and it's believed to have originated when shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged tea bowl to be repaired during the 15th century. Kintsugi soon became exceptionally popular, with some collectors intentionally smashing their valuable pottery in order to have it repaired.
To this day, kintsugi continues to be a valuable and influential art form. It's even made it's way into tattoos! Take a look at 55 incredible tattoos inspired by kintsugi in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section on social media.