I was just contemplating the fact that some borders are more beautiful in their breaching — even began in that compulsion that cameras induce snapping photos of breached borders
— when I discovered the Museum of Broken Relationships.
If you think of a relationship as two people consciously sharing a same space and erecting around themselves a border of commitment and fidelity (or so the theory goes), then a broken relationship is the ultimate breached border. And just as there is beauty in flowers spilling over a fence, so is there a poignant beauty in many of the objects that commemorate a breached love.
The museum, which began as a series of traveling shows and opened its permanent home in Zagreb, Croatia last fall, displays a fraction of the 700 plus objects of its ever-growing collection. One of the most affecting was a teddy bear, which belonged to a young girl in Singapore. An ethnic Chinese, she was in love with a Malay with whom one day she bought two teddy bears, one light brown, the other dark. He kept the lighter one to remind him of her, she the darker one to remind her of him. It was the only trace of him in her room — no snapshots, no notes, nothing that would alert her skin-color parents to the fact that she was involved with a darker-skinned Malay. When they broke up, she writes in the accompanying label, the teddy bear absorbed her tears and, over time, she put the bear away, and “nobody noticed.”
Just so you know, the museum continues to curate traveling shows — the next one scheduled for August-September in London.