|Satsuma ware tea bowl, 17th century, Edo period|
As a philosophy kintsugi can been seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi or embracing of the flawed or imperfect.
Japanese æsthetics values marks of wear by the use of an object. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.
Kintsugi as a general concept of highlighting or emphasizing imperfections, visualizing mends and seams as additive or an area to celebrate or focus on rather than as absence or missing pieces, the artist project dispatchwork by Jan Vormann can be seen as a modern take on kintsugi. Other modern artists experiment with the ancient technique as a means of analyzing the idea of loss, synthesis, and improvement through destruction and repair or rebirth.
Kintsugi can relate to the Japanese philosophy of "no mind" (無心, mushin) which encompasses the concepts of living-in-the-moment, non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life.
|Embrace imperfection. Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect|
“ Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated. The existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identiﬁcation with, [things] outside oneself. ”
—Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics