Yoko Ono: mended cups, an illy Art Collection, consists of six cups that bear gold, ‘shattered’ and ‘mended’ crack lines – accompanied by six individual saucers that state, in Yoko Ono’shandwriting, six catastrophic events that have affected the world; some have directly affected her life, and others only indirectly, yet bringing death to millions of people. Each saucer states the date and place of the tragic event and concludes with the words “… mended in 2015.”
The seventh cup in the collection, Unbroken Cup, is untouched with no cracked or mended lines, reflecting peace and hope with Ono’s handwritten words on the saucer, “This cup will never be broken as it will be under your protection.”
Since the early 1960s, Yoko Ono has had an impact on the international art scene, helping to redefine the relationship between the artist and society through her contributions to art, performance, music, feminism, and anti-war activism. It was this decade that fueled her 1966 work Mend Piece for her first solo show in London at the Indica Gallery, and an earlier work,Promise Piece (1961); in 1997, Ono created Crickets, a work of silence and void left by human destruction. For Mended Cups, Ono used the metaphor of the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, a technique of repairing broken or cracked pottery using brushstrokes of gold and silver, a philosophy that treats the breakage and repair as part of the object’s history–an important and precious detail, rather than something to disguise.
“When I learned about the project that Yoko Ono had conceived for illy, a shiver ran down my spine,” said Carlo Bach, creative director for illycaffè. “When I view this illy Art Collection at once, I think about the fragility of our world, the possibility of forgiveness and the hope for a better future, which largely depends on our actions.”