Is your work a combination of east and west that you find more promising?
Yes, I have a sense of duality in my sense of art and design, like “east and west” or “classic and modern”, and this is the basic feeling that nourishes me. But my work is literally contemporary. I’m using visual or production-based details of traditional arts, but I don’t define myself as a traditionalist. I think this fine line will be distinguished over time. In today’s world where traditional arts are marginalized and separated from contemporary art with thick walls, being able to carry the traces of this tradition to a small extent gives me incredible pleasure. Actually, I am trying to emit some seeds in a fertile endless soil with my art… These seeds, together with the feeling of familiarity in humans, lead to some emotions that they have not experienced before. And this is evolving with renewal and evolution every time. I produce with the urge to influence the cultural fate and perceptions of future generations.
You come from a family with deep roots in art and culture can you tell us something about it
When there were many individuals in the family related to architecture, art, and calligraphy, I inevitably experienced a process of curiosity and information about these fields from a young age. My mind has always worked on bringing together two things that do not come familiarly together in the field of design and art and fed this duality. From a modern perspective on traditional arts, I have been thinking and experimenting for many years. For example, I use calligraphy, but I don’t do this using paper and cane in the traditional way. Actually, what I did; A picture of the present day that I incorporate calligraphy and traditional methods. I say painting; because oil painting with completely painting technique and I use a brush. Apart from that, I sometimes use acrylic, ink, and mostly gold. I can say that I turned to more abstract works recently & the term “mixed media” is more suited to these works.
You have opened several solo exhibitions, what do you think any artist is the perfect time to make their first solo exhibition?
Young artists should definitely not rush to open a solo exhibition. First of all, they should try to be in an art environment that will nourish them as much as possible and enable them to develop different perspectives. This may be primarily by participating in so many mixed exhibitions that other than where they live. Mixed exhibitions will enable them to make very important connections and gradually become known in the art world. I suggest they wait for the right time when they will mature enough to work with a good gallery and curator for their first solo exhibitions.
You have been around the world and done several projects is there any one who is closest to you
There have been delays in many of our projects due to the pandemic period, unfortunately. We postponed my exhibition to 2021, which will take place in the autumn of 2020. This time where we live now is actually a period where I focus on production and I think it will continue for a while. Since I do not personally enjoy digital exhibitions, we need a little more time for real exhibitions in real galleries.
What are your sources of inspiration in your productions?
First of all, I am very hungry for all kinds of new techniques and knowledge, as I am very concerned with the technical parts of the work. Every new technique I discovered definitely inspires me. However, aside from its technical part, architectural details, perspectives, and original methods of artists and designers have not become very prominent in time and remain niche in their own time. The perspectives and private lives of the artists who have shaped their own times… all kinds of arts and crafts belonging to our own history and roots… I can say that it is an inspiration for life itself, all its past and future.
Farhat Simeen with Islamic calligraphy-themed sculptures, French Jean Dunand, who produces both art and design in Artdeco style, American sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi, Louise Nevelson with monochromatic wooden sculptures, Pierre Soulages with the magnificent use of black and light… actually this list is quite long. Could be … Barnett Newman, Clement Meadmore, Antoine Poncet…
What do you think is the secret behind your success as an artist?
The design can never be independent of its roots, but of course, that doesn’t mean not looking forward. Our cultural heritage and craft skills are embedded in our genetic codes; whether we want it or not, it is included in the current design we have made. This is sometimes included in the sub-meanings of the design and sometimes becomes very visible. Therefore, accepting them instead of denial, it is best to act with the urge to allow new riches with its work of change and transformation. The design made by trying to hide codes in your DNA which comes from your family or to hide tastes in your conscious & subconscious level, is always doomed to stop makeshift/wannabe. For this reason, I can say that the emphasis on roots and tradition will gradually become stronger.
What do you think has changed about Islamic art in the 21 century?
As you know, modern art emerged from a European painting tradition for a long time with great difficulty depending on the changes in the artists’ worldviews. At that time, Islamic art didn’t suffer that pain. Although some visual expressions that changed depending on the 21st century seemed to bring Islamic art closer to contemporary art, Islamic art was always contemporary in content because “openness to newness” was always a part of Islamic art and Muslim artists.
Where have you seen the most awe-inspiring Islamic architecture?
Po-i-Kalyan Mosque in Uzbekistan, Mezquita in Cordoba, Shah Mosque in Esfahan, Pink Mosque in Shiraz & Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul
Can you show us what we can find in your studio, what are your favorite tools and techniques?
Acrylic and oil paints are the materials I use frequently on wood and canvas. Ink and gold are other materials that I use by referring to traditional methods. Apart from these, I also work with different materials, such as glass, ceramic, and bronze for multi-dimensional works. Technically, I am creating work by shaping it by spreading time with a feeling that interacts with the work in the multi-layered process.
Maçka Caddesi No29/4 34367 Maçka Istanbul Turkey