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All That is Broken is Not Lost – Ceramic Exhibition at Sway Gallery

“All That is Broken is Not Lost”, a solo exhibition by Reiko Kaneko at Sway Gallery London.

In this exhibition Reiko presents her exploration of imperfection. The practice and craft of ceramics provide many opportunities to exercise this, to open the mind to “flaws”. Wabi-sabi is a simple concept that you can see everywhere, on the pavement, on the bark of a tree. A beauty that’s available to all, the mended pieces come to represent more than their original selves, and Reiko will present a collection of pieces inspired by this.

“The Japanese characters that make up the word Kintsugi,  (金継ぎ) include two Chinese characters, Gold (金)and joining (継) The legend goes that a Japanese emperor broke his favourite cup and sent it back to China to mend. He was horrified to have his cup mended with metal staples and was determined to find a better way to mend ceramics, so turned to Japanese craftspeople. Urushi, a natural Japanese lacquer, (slightly toxic in its liquid form – with an effect similar to poison ivy) was used to mend the items, and pressed with gold powder to accentuate the join.

There is a quiet truth and a sense of being, in carefully mending an object by applying something as precious as gold to its cracks. When we launched our Kintsugi service, we got an incredible response – including stories of physical scars and mental struggles. I started to wonder about what Kintsugi speaks to people – aside from the obvious: that we can all relate to being broken, and hope to be mended. And of course on one level that’s simplistic – but threaded in the cracks of these objects are thousands of stories, as varied as the people who make, break and use them.

Perhaps the process reflects a part of ourselves that isn’t represented much elsewhere – rather than the synthetic perfection of adverts and surface, it connects with something more real. The kind of imperfect that is. Just is. Nothing more or less than messy reality. A cracked bowl, carefully mended in all its flawed splendour suggests a different way of seeing things. A positive outcome for a life and story that, while imperfect, continues to exist and find beauty.” Reiko Kaneko

Entry : Free
4th – 21st October 2019
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 11am – 7pm
Special Saturday opening: 5th October 12 – 6pm

Private view Thursday 3rd October: 6 – 8 pm

RSVP: Eventbrite 

Sway Gallery,
70-72 Old Street,

See below for a preview of what will be on display.