Artist Statement

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken pieces of pottery together with gold, which is a metaphorical reflection on recognizing and reconciling our flaws. It inevitably invites us to look at a deeper level to accept our own psychological incompleteness. The process which requires time, patience and resilience, of bringing new life to damaged ceramic works and also not hiding but celebrating the scars with the use of gold.
I got drawn to the art of Kintsugi unconsciously. Repairing broken pieces of my old works was an outer reflex of dealing with loss and pain in my personal life when I lost a parent. After experiencing grief that had fragmented my thought process into seeing pain as uni dimensional, I took refuge in the mirror-like process of making emotional repair by uncovering the wounds, healing them and knowing that these make me whole as much as my joy does!
I realized that the fire gods had scarred my ceramic work with opportunity, to redefine and realign my thoughts, like in the often quoted saying..
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
- Leonard Cohen

My work is a spin on this traditional ceramic repair process where instead of real gold, a simple gold colored paint is used so the color of gold is showing what has value( the joints, scars, marks on the ceramic piece) but not becoming what gives it value.
Wars, ignorance and our lack of philosophical speculation as a society makes me question the consumerist culture and psychology of the present times.

Our wounds can not and should not be hidden, but exalted; it is also thanks to them that we have come this far and there is extreme beauty in seeing the perfection of imperfection in all that exists.

Shreya Alok Gupta

Shreya Alok completed her undergraduate ceramic design course at Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur in 2014. She has exhibited at Lalit Kala Akadamie and Samanvai gallery, Jaipur amongst others. Drawing inspiration from the various craft clusters in India, she has recieved a fellowship from CEPT to work with the pottery clusters in Kutch, Gujarat.
After being an artist-in-residence at The Cold Mountain Studio, now she takes her ceramic journey forward by setting up her own 'Studio Karamica' in the lower Himalayas of Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh.