NEW YORK (Web Desk): In the heart of New York City, the Anatolian Artists Festival kicks off on a beautiful autumn day to invite visitors through an exhibition of Turkish excellence where history meets the contemporary as artists fuse together tradition with the future
The Anatolian Artists Festival (TAAF), which introduces the rich culture of Türkiye, has kicked off in the Blue Gallery in New York City, inviting visitors to trace Türkiye’s cultural heritage together while the exhibition is showcased.
Understanding Anatolia means discovering human beings and their heritage. TAAF has already attracted large crowds on the first day of the event. The retrospective exhibition, which features works by artists from different periods, will run until Oct. 30. Wherever art goes, passionate artists successfully fuse it with local forms and create something new. We see this also in other cultures based in Anatolia – that they have a good connection to art. So, it would be a good conceptualization to call it Anatolian Art. A total of 15 artists are displaying their work at this festival, including many artists who hail from Anatolia, thus giving the exhibition its name.
The festival will feature not just exhibitions but also stage shows and concerts. Juilliard-trained, Aysegül Durakoğlu is a performer with versatile interests and a repertoire that encompasses both the earliest and contemporary styles. Durakoğlu will be performing solo piano works from her highly acclaimed album, “Dances Through the Keyboard,” with waltzes, mazurkas, tangos by Chopin, Debussy, Piazzolla, as well as Anatolian dances by contemporary Turkish composers.
The festival endeavors to delight all the senses while contributing to a deeper understanding of our shared ancestry. It is organized by Erden Arkan and Ali Sarıkaya. Inspired by Anatolia, the festival program focuses this year on the creators of memorable artworks. The exhibit connects the dots between traces of Anatolia that human senses are most often unable to perceive in real time. When I visited the exhibition, I felt again that the culture of this region is 6,000 years old and it is their purpose as an artist to bring it into the 21st century.
Ufuk Girgiç is among the artists that blend traditional and contemporary arts in their work. Girgiç not only presents traditional weaving works and drawing techniques through a special and original interpretation that he developed, but also brings his artwork into the growing world.
“I believe tapestry weaving is the best way in expressing myself in which I am able to unite different techniques of art together with my passion for fibers and storytelling. I enjoy creating depths using differing fibers in single tapestry like jute, sisal, straw, bamboo, cotton, wool; absolutely all-natural,” said Girgiç.
“I try to get together traditional knots with traditional motifs but redefining them all. I am designing over the residues left in me as I dive into deep water, walk into a marketplace or digest all the incredible archeology, architectural diversity and Anatolian traditional patterns of my home country. The evil eye, the sea with all its shades and creatures, Iznik tiles, Aegean and Mediterranean cultures, their mythologies and legends are my major resources. Traditional behaviors, ethnic patterns, nature inspire me; I differentiate and remake them into my lean designs,” he added.
“Art is as natural to me as eating and breathing; it’s a vital part of my livelihood. I have been drawing since I was 6 years old and throughout the years I’ve focused my creative passion on design, photography, music, martial arts, athletics, psychology and wellness. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I began to paint regularly, that I learned much more about myself and the power of being in the flow,” said painter Sarkis Delimelkon.
“My mission is to take the viewers on a journey similar to the one I went through during the creation process, to be present and allow their imagination to run freely. I intend to continue to practice, learn and help inspire others to reconnect with nature and inner-nature. The purpose is to reach a mutual feeling of mindfulness, inner peace, and flow. In other words, universal consciousness. I imagine a world where we all love and support one another, working symbiotically and coexisting with all life under the sun,” he explained.