Country bridging East and West brings artworks to Korea
By Rachel Lee
Turkey, the country juxtaposing the West and the East, brought a collection of its contemporary art to Korea.
Titled “Encounters: Turkish Contemporary Art in Korea,” the works of both the up-and-coming and world-renowned artists in the Eurasian country are on display at Araart, a gallery located in Insa-dong, Seoul. Already underway, the exhibition will run through Sept. 26.
The exhibition features a total of 98 works by 54 artists that include Aslimay Altay Goney, Bedri Bayka, Can Kurucu, Kemal Seyhan and Zekine Kundukan.
The exhibition is organized by Contemporary Istanbul, an international contemporary art exposition sponsored by Akbank Private Banking and associate sponsor Zorlu Centre.
“I chose the theme ‘Encounter,’ because it has been 60 years since Turkey and Korea first encountered each other during The Korean War,” said Hasan Bulent Kahraman, the curator of the exhibition, said Friday during a telephone interview with The Korea Times.
“The title also means ‘encountering the two cultures.’ It is about the cultural relations that the two countries have built up and developed since they first met during the Korean War.” Turkey was one of the first major participants to send a brigade to halt the invasion of Korea by the North Koreans in 1950.
An interesting section of the show, entitled “Transitions: From Modern to Contemporary,” is designed to highlight a period when contemporary art became united in Turkey in its move from modern to contemporary. All of these artworks were produced after 1990, reflecting the conflicts that occurred during this period, which were expressed in their works using vivid colors.
The noteworthy names that have shaped the country’s contemporary art include Burhan Dogancy, Komet and Erol Akyavas. All of whose works have already been displayed at a number of museums around the world.
“The two countries have similarities. They both have tradition and modernity. The audience will observe it,” the curator added. “I think it creates a synergy effect when Turkey, the most Eastern country in the West meets Korea, the most Western country in the East.”
The “Encounters” exhibition will also be held in such big cities as London, Berlin, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.