Having recently opened in May 2020, Kintsugi: Spirited Beyond has been garnering a lot of attention – and rightly so; it is a place of serene beauty, lovingly created by NorahBrent and Zalindah.
Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-etechnique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.
I include this description, because Kintsugi: Spirited Beyond grew out of a personal loss experienced by NorahBrent, as Zalinah notes in her profile:
Pulling her grief and transforming it into creativity was her only way of coping. She asked me to join her and I couldn’t resist.
So it might be said that Kintsugi: Spirited Beyond that has a deep connection for both NorahBrent and Zalinah, and especially offers a means for Norah to mend her loss through creativity, making it a part of her personal expression, making it a part of who she is, rather than trying to disguise or hide it. This is turn gives any visit to Kintsugi a personal element, the visitor sharing not just in the creativity displayed in the completed region, but also in the healing process that is folded into its design and presentation.
The natural beauty of the region is evident from first arrival, but to help encourage exploration, a story as been added; those arriving are asked to find the nine spirits located throughout the setting, with each spirit found within a location: house, forest, water, garden, and more, there secrets revealed through local chat.
Thus, the best way to describe Kintsugi is as a subtle story told through a series of vignettes, each defined by a specific part of the region design, and knitted together as a whole by both the stories awaiting discovery and the natural flow of the landscape across the islands and water-borne elements reached via stepping stones that wind across the shallow, reflective waters that enfold the islands and their treasures.
The Japanese motifs found throughout the region – Cherry trees, Torii gates, koi pond, raked zen garden, water lanterns and more – are used to marvellous effect, both adding to the spiritual feel to Kintsugi whilst also gently brushing it against the imagination sufficiently for the active mind to call forth stories of its own that might find a home here.
At the same time, there is much to capture and hold the attention of the more casual visitor: the natural beauty of the setting, the mystery of the deserted town on the high hill, the places to sit and appreciate each element within the region’s unfolding story. And obviously, there is much to commend the region to the eye and lens of the Second Life photographer.
Kintsugi is a truly bewitching setting, rich in detail and narrative, fully deserving of a visit. When you do, please consider making a donation at the landing point to help ensure its continued presence in Second Life.
- Kintsugi, Spirited Beyond (Runaway, rated Moderate)