Life leaves its mark. We get bumps and bruises, and sometimes suffer injuries or breakdowns. We can be patched up and send into the world where the scars and repairs become testimonies to the lives we have lived. This exhibition explores how medicine and technology repair our fragile bodies.
The exhibition is inspired by the Japanese Kintsugi (金継ぎ) tradition, in which broken pottery is visibly repaired using lacquer and gold dust. Kintsugi means “to join with gold”. Instead of hiding the repairs on the ceramic, they are emphasized, hence adding new strength, value and beauty to the object that has been repaired. This exhibition explores Kintsugi as a metaphor for the repairs made to our bodies throughout our lives. In the process, it challenges the common understanding of aging as a process marked by decay and decline.
Kintsugi consists of 37 objects, each an example of a body repair. In some instances, the body has healed a broken bone with new, strong bone tissue on its own, and in other situations the body has had a helping hand from medical science and technology. The exhibited objects come from all parts of the large collections of Medical Museion and showcases both historical and contemporary examples of body repairs.