Here at LIM Innovations we pride ourselves on the diversity of our team. We have a fantastic group of engineers, designers, machinists, clinicians, and amputees with relevant experience in the field. With such a diverse group working behind the scenes, we invite you to join one of our staff members each week for an in-depth look at what they bring to table. It is our goal to provide our loyal reader’s a behind-the-scenes look at LIM Innovations. Scott Jurgens, Production Technician, picks up the pen this week, comparing amputation to the Japanese art and philosophy of Kintsugi.
Everything around us is in a constant state of breaking apart and coming back together. With an amputation, a fragmented sense of self can lead to existential dilemmas. Our bodies, with the right care, are long lasting and resilient. We may break bones or tear flesh, but in the end we recover and become stronger.
Today, I would like to bring up the relevance of the art style and philosophy of Kintsugi, to discuss its relevance on how we view prosthetics. Kintsugi is a Japanese word for Golden Joinery, an art form derived from piecing together pottery with gold or other precious metals. This art form is meant to emphasize imperfections, resilience and life’s journey. This technique displays a story of repairing an object to its original function after transformational rebirth. One could argue that our bodies are in a constant state of Kintsugi, that all we truly have is our naked bodies and the story it tells of our life’s journey through scars both physical and mental. Humanity’s inherent desire to care for each other has led to major advances in medicine and healthcare, prolonging resistance to inevitable loss of function or life. These developments allow those who are unable to live normally to have hope. The era of putting down the lame dog has passed, we are now in the era of repairing and sustaining.
At this point in time, when a limb is lost, and will power is not, why should anyone suffer a body that doesn’t meet their envisioned desires and demands? The prosthesis is the gold in our broken bodies, aesthetically pleasing as a story of human will and ingenuity used in repairing the most basic of needs. It is through the beauty of perseverance that we can experience this rebirth. A rising trend of stylistic and artful prostheses are appearing in virtually every medium we have available today. Whether it be a music video, movie, video game or magazine, our culture and many others embrace the art of Kintsugi, no longer leaving behind or hiding imperfections, but embracing them for what they have truly become, feats of will.