Apple News Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Monday, Mar 1, 2021
Search
Archive
English>>

Turkey's exhibition shows masks as new reality of life amid pandemic

(Xinhua)    11:26, March 01, 2021

Artworks are displayed at an exhibition titled "Mask-Associations" in Istanbul, Turkey on Feb. 25, 2021. The exhibition "Mask-Associations," organized by the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation in cooperation with the Baksi Foundation based in the eastern Black Sea province of Bayburt, is solely devoted to the use of masks in the course of history. It will run until April 21. (Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua)

ISTANBUL, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- A black and white picture of the sad face of a child, attached with a "mask" made of all-colored Lego pieces, stunned the audience at an exhibition in Turkey's Istanbul.

Simay Bulbul, a contemporary Turkish artist, dedicated this piece to a generation of locked-down children due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Children spend their most precious time in their homes rather than playing in gardens, streets, and schools," Bulbul said. "The focus of their lives is masks but not toys."

The artist published the image over plexiglass and caged it inside a transparent box, signifying the sense of captivity during the pandemic days.

The exhibition "Mask-Associations," organized by the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation in cooperation with the Baksi Foundation based in the eastern Black Sea province of Bayburt, is solely devoted to the use of masks in the course of history. It will run until April 21.

The 100-year-old ancient building of a cartridge factory Fisekhane, one of the first industrial facilities of the Ottoman Empire, which was recently transformed into a cultural compound, is the venue of the exhibition.

The participating 20 artists have all differently described and conceptualized the use of masks and investigate their presence in "utopian or dystopian" environments.

"Masks have always been in our lives. But today, their meaning is so different. It is not just a mask on your face anymore," Ali Gureli, founder and chairman of the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation, told Xinhua. "Each mask is so unique, and each reflects a distinctive feeling of the artists."

Enis Karavil, a young artist, created a human head sculpture wearing a black mask with an attached Apple watch to grasp the reflection of the past and future over the use of a mask. The voice control system of the watch allows people to read the text as the person who wears it speaks.

A mask made of neon lights sparkled on a self-digital portrait of the artist Firat Engin. "Our presence with masks is now a truth, which will no longer be erased from our collective memory," Engin noted, describing his artwork named "Self portrait 2020."

For Banu Carmikli, a member of the exhibition board, art emerges from this global health crisis by getting stronger.

"Triggering factors have always played an influential role in the creativity and productivity of artists. Just like the emergence of groundbreaking trends in post-war art production, I think the pandemic brought along the awareness of innovation and motivation," Carmikli said.

In Gureli's view, artists first observed what is going on around them for the first three to four months when the pandemic first erupted before revealing their inner worlds in art forms.

And then as of mid of summer last year they started to produce, after finding enough time to imagine how they could convert their feelings into artworks, according to the chairman.

During this period, Gureli also witnessed some changes in the art world. He realized that more and more young people started to collect artworks in Turkey.

The chairman noted that the interest in buying artworks in the country expanded during the pandemic. "I know that some artists are even not able to deliver their pieces because the demand is so high."

Last year, the foundation organized its first virtual art fair in December and lured a lot of attraction, with more than 100,000 people visited the fair virtually.

"It was very successful. Sales went up by 33 to 34 percent, which is wonderful for us," he added, noting that more virtual exhibitions are on their way in the upcoming period.

In the meantime, the foundation started to get in contact with several international art institutions, especially looking forward to having closer relations with China.

Gureli said China has lately become one of the leading actors in the contemporary art world, noting that more than 85 percent of the world art market is now dominated by the United States, China, and Britain.

The foundation plans to organize two exhibitions about contemporary Turkish art in China's coastal city of Shanghai and the capital Beijing by the end of this year.

"And also we will be exhibiting Chinese contemporary art in Istanbul and maybe in other cities," he added. 


【1】【2】【3】【4】【5】

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Meng Bin, Liang Jun)

Add your comment

Most Read

Hot News

We Recommend

Photos

prev next

Related reading