A Kintsugi-Inspired Revival of a Basketball Court

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A restoration of a South LA basketball court using the ancient Japanese craft of kintsugi.

Completed by artist Victor Solomon and his art practice Literally Balling that explores the icons of basketball through the lens of opulence, this special restoration project looks to Japanese craft traditions for inspiration. Kintsugi (”golden joinery”) is a 500-years-old technique of repairing broken pottery with lacquer and powdered gold or metal. The restored pottery highlights the breakage with metallic tones instead of concealing it, celebrating the object’s history as well as the beauty of imperfection. Victor Solomon’s Kintsugi Court explores the same principles, albeit on a larger scale. Located in South Los Angeles, this dilapidated basketball court transformed into a spectacular public art piece.

The artist and his team cleared the debris and weeds growing from the many concrete cracks and filled the gaps with a mixture of resin and glitter finished off with pigment. Similarly to kintsugi pottery, the basketball court features lines that twist and turn like bolts of gold lightning. The team also painted the court markings in gold and white to finish the restoration process. Finally, new golden hoops matched with transparent backboards add an elegant finishing touch to the site. More than just an impressive art piece, Kintsugi Court aims to highlight the healing properties of sport; more specifically, the way it can unite people of any race, background, and economic status. Photographs© Shafik Kadi.

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