Issue 4: Kintsugi

For our fourth issue Kintsugi, we offer up some tales on the theme of beauty in brokenness, taking inspiration from the Japanese practice of putting broken china together with gold lacquer - kintsugi. With stories by Jonathan Creasy, Chewy Chewerson, Rosa Abbott, Una Mullally, Brian Herron, Seamas O'Reilly, Roisin Agnew, Megan Nolan, Eoin Butler. Illustrations by Fatti Burke.

Roisin Agnew | Editor's Foreword

Among the things lying around my parent’s house this summer was a book called ‘Who Will Run The Frog Hospital’ by Lorrie Moore. I’d heard of her from the New Yorker podcast. I liked the title. I read the book.

In the first few pages the protagonist of the story describes being a girl of five standing in the snow of her back garden trying to get her voice to split into two. She wants her voice to break into two sounds, two oppositions that together might make a harmony. She’s convinced this will give her some sort of specialness, some form of power. She tries and tries to break her voice, but she eventually comes back into the house hoarse and frozen.

We desire that broken voice. We believe that a disruption to the natural order of things, a malfunction that reveals the cogs beneath, will reward us with a deeper understanding of how it all works. We hope that the voice will break into two to form that harmony. Cancer, failed trips, death, botched friendships, posy teen self-destruction, are all occasions where an inevitable or a self-imposed breaking creates a new order, a different perspective.

Kintsugi is the Japanese practice of putting together broken porcelain with gold-dusted lacquer. It’s part of the philosophy of wabi-sabi, which embraces imperfection and values repair. The idea is that an object is made more valuable because it is broken. In our fourth issue we will adopt the teachings of wabi-sabi and hope to spot the beauty that lies in brokenness.

Fatti Burke | Issue 4 Illustrator

When it comes to Fatti Burke I’d have to agree with her boyfriend. Late one night at a Halloween party in Ballybough, he leaned into me saying, “Kathi is so amazing. There is no one like her.” And then he tripped over something. Fatti (or Kathi) does a lot of things I admire. She Instagrams her beautiful face with no makeup on and no fucks given. She deals with her career with balls-out courage. She gave her dog the name of a man from Sex And The City (perhaps unintentionally). She got a tattoo that reads ‘One can go too far’ in response to an Offset brief about an Adam Shrigley quote, and it now compliments the rest of her skin’s inkiness. But what I like the most about her is that she illustrates places, people, and situations in a way that creates moments of self-recognition and humour every time. In daydreams I see myself walking around Dublin as a Fatti Burke character on a Fatti Burke map. You may know her from the Bernard Shaw bathrooms, her Cara maps, hotels and restaurants and your friend’s wall, and you are soon to know her from her new book coming out in Autumn.