Artist Salon: Panel Discussion on Kintsugi

  • Artist Salon
  • Talk
  • July 31, 2021

    Above: Naoko Fukumaru, Performing kintsugi on 600 A.D. - 800 A.D. Pre-Columbian Earthenware Bowl from the collection of Conrad Sarznick.
    Panel Discussion & Tour featuring Naoko Fukumaru, and Glenn Lewis.  Moderated by Makiko Hara.
    This event is now sold out.  The Wait-list is constantly being updated on Eventbrite, please check the Eventbrite link for details.


    In connection to the Richmond Art Gallery’s Imperfect Offerings exhibition, the Artist Salon Series hosts a public tour and talk with local conservator and ceramic artist Naoko Fukumaru, artist Glenn Lewis, and independent curator Makiko Hara.

    As the exhibition’s core themes highlight recovery and a careful return to sociality, this is an ideal time for the Artist Salon to return to a space of socializing and connecting with other artists.  Join in the discussion with the artists and curators to explore new ways to connect and collaborate with others in your own art practice.

    Learn more about the critical Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery exhibition Thrown (2004), and pieces from that show that were later restored with kintsugi. Roughly translating as ‘joining with gold’, kintsugi is the 500-year-old Japanese art of restoring damaged ceramics underpinned by a philosophy of finding beauty in the flawed or imperfect: treating cracks and damage as part of the history of an object, and as something to celebrate rather than to disguise.

    The panelists will discuss their connection to the practice of kintsugi, as well as the making, conservation and curating of ceramic works as a way to rediscover the simple pleasure of social gatherings and communal being.

    This session will be hosted in person with limited capacity*. Registration is required.
    *NOTE – this session may move online, based on BC Health Orders at the time of this event. Please check this website and RAG social media for updates.

    Session Format:
    • This event will be hosted for a limited audience on-site in the Art Gallery (tour) and outdoors at the Cultural Centre Rooftop Garden (panel discussion).
    • In keeping with BC Health Guidelines, all attendees must wear a mask and practice social distancing. For details on current safety precautions, go to How to Visit Us.
    • Registration to attend the in-person event is required, due to limited capacity.
    Presenter Biographies

    Naoko Fukumaru is a Kyoto-born, Vancouver-based kintsugi artist. A professional conservator — who previously worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and was involved in major conservation projects such as Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper — Fukumaru has been collaborating with prominent B.C. potters since 2019 to restore, adapt, and reinvent their broken or cracked works. The exhibition presents over 200 works of kintsugi as well as the new commission and installation Slug Pottery Excavation Room, an homage to the legacy of the artists who helped define the pottery scene in B.C. Created with pieces of broken ceramics found at the former site of Mick Henry’s studio, Slug Pottery, the installation gives shape to a unique form of collaboration between artists past and present. Fukumaru’s kintsugi respectfully brings new life and attention to the works of Henry, Lewis, Wayne Ngan, Heinz Laffin, and others.

    Glenn Lewis is a renowned artist who apprenticed under Bernard Leach in the UK in the early 1960s. The exhibition features The Poetic Process, an installation of 20 large-scale photographs and five pots originally created while Lewis was in residence at Leach Pottery in St. Ives, England. When the work was shipped to Vancouver, the pottery arrived broken. Rather than discarding the pieces, Lewis decided to repair the pots using kintsugi, a 500-year-old Japanese method of restoring damaged ceramics through golden rejoinery. The work now serves as a reminder of the beauty in imperfections.

    Makiko Hara is an independent curator and writer from Tokyo, Japan, based in Vancouver, BC. From 2007 to 2013, she was the Chief curator of Centre A —Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. She has worked with many visual artists on a variety of projects as an independent curator, including: Scotia Bank Nuit Blanche, (Toronto, Canada, 2009), AIR YONAGO, Tottori Geijyu Art Festival (Yonago, Japan, 2014-15),Fictive Communities Asia-Koganecho Bazaar (Yokohama, Japan, 2014), Rock Paper Scissors, and Cindy Mochizuki, (Yonago City Museum of Art, Tottori, Japan, 2018). Hara was appointed Guest Curator at Koganecho Bazaar 2014 and in 2017 was appointed to the Advisory on International Exchange Center, Akita University of Arts, Akita, Japan.


    The Artist Salon Series features art professionals leading inspirational artist talks and professional development for visual artists on the last Saturday of each month from February to November. Past sessions from 2020 onwards may also be viewed as videos on the RAG@Home video page.

    This program is supported by the Richmond Art Gallery Association and City of Richmond Arts and Culture Grant.

    Above: Naoko Fukumaru, Performing kintsugi on 600 A.D. - 800 A.D. Pre-Columbian Earthenware Bowl from the collection of Conrad Sarznick.


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