Our Story

Kingyo Kintsugi is a collection of embroidered patches inspired by Japanese art, designed in Melbourne, Australia - created in recognition of art's healing strength, and of the journey to honouring our scars.

We are a small Australian business, committed to independent design and sustainable practices in production. 

 

Kingyo Kintsugi began as a musing of tattoo artist Joel Ang in 2016, when he first came across Japanese souvenir jackets known as sukajan. He bought one, then another, being most impressed by the beautiful embroidery on the jacket. This led to the idea of translating his work - contemporary Japanese tattooing - into the elegant medium of the embroidered patch. The vision was to create large embroidered patches, sized big enough for the graceful details of Japanese art to come through. Joel set out to design his first collection of patches, and the Kingyo and Peony styles were created. These were very well-received, and are available now still, as his original designs from 2016! However, with his bustling full-time tattooing work, Joel had to defer this undertaking for a later time, though many enquiries for patches continued to roll in over the years. Joel went on dreaming up more designs for the day he could take up embroidered patches again. 

In 2021, Joel's partner Rie decided to take time off from her work as a medical doctor. Clinical medicine, and the human condition had left Rie feeling quite broken. In helping Joel get his idea off the ground again, and in creating Kingyo Kintsugi, Rie found a new form of healing in art. 

Kingyo is Japanese for goldfish, the first-ever embroidered patch Joel designed. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold, the philosophy being that brokenness is not something to be hidden; rather, as part of the history of an object, it makes the item even more beautiful, and becomes something to be celebrated.

We all carry broken pieces. There is much beauty to be found in imperfection, and much value in our vulnerabilities. The dream is that Kingyo Kintsugi will be more than an online store. Maybe in sharing art, we will share some heart of human expression. Every art piece has a story, and every story is a chance for connection. 

It is our hope that Kingyo Kintsugi will inspire conversations, reflections and acceptance of our imperfections, in celebration of a life well-lived. 

We hope you enjoy the art we have to share, in both pictures and in words.  

 

We are all kintsugi

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong peoples of the Kulin Nation, and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge that we meet and work on this land, and recognize the integral place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to have within the Australian community.