Exploring “Heartbreak” Through Glass at the Shanghai Museum of Glass

“It is the fate of glass to break.” Taking this well-known Chinese proverb as its starting point, BRKN, a permanent exhibition at the Shanghai Museum of Glass, explores how things shattered, fractured and cracked can speak to heartbreak and hope, and everything in between.

With glass as their core medium – a material whose inherent fragility renders it a potent and recurring metaphor in countless languages – as well as music, 21 installations explore the connotations, implications, and possibilities of ‘broken’.

In BRKN, heartbreak is imagined through a series of installations that shine a light on these emotional associations of ‘broken.’

They include Fragile, inspired by the eponymous anthem that has become synonymous with a call for compassion. Mama Said Knock You Out applies the tension of a high-octane boxing match in order to examine the connotations and consequences of reaching breaking point. Breaking the Glass Ceiling tears down of erstwhile invisible barriers, and the work nods to ongoing activism with regard to workplace gender equality.

All of these and more truly express the power of the break and the exhibition is well worth a visit.

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