Stories for Peace

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Amelia and Me at Walledcity Famagusta

We shared two ‘peace’ stories with the editor in chief of www.coastalseekers.com Amelia and her partner Josh. This inspiring couple created an online platform for travel video/ bloggers to share their stories. There are many ways for peace making; art, architecture, storytelling, permaculture, economy and many more. Our first story came from art in which my father talked all about the “Risky Travels”.  Second story followed as “The Famagusta Ecocity Project” which displays great potential for a peaceful co-existence. Thanks to Amelia and Josh for making us part of their stories in Cyprus.

cerenbogac.com

Me, Munise and Amelia, hanging out in Famagusta

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Josh and Amelia, interview with Baki Bogac

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When Philosophy Takes Form of Art

‘Light and Insects’ Sculpture Exhibition

Artist: Bâki Boğaç

Bâki Boğaç, well known Turkish Cypriot sculpture opened his VI.th solo exhibition named “Light and Insects” about a year ago in his atelier Pygmalion. There might be a year passed over this exhibition, yet its reflections are keep on echoing in Cyprus.

This exhibition was a result of more than 5 years hard work, not only in terms of human-power, but also the artist’s formation of a new philosophy. There are millions of things which can be said about this exhibition. Yet, nothing may come closer the way the artist has described the concept of his exhibition in a sense of philosopher like the poet- by possessing the aesthetic gift of free associative thinking in integral images/forms. It is also fascinating the way the artist transformed his philosophy into physical forms: The Light Sculptures and The Insects. The physical form of the insects looks solid creatures at the first look, however they becomes alive under the backlight! The Light Sculptures however are all time monumental entities  which are dominating the space.

In this exhibition, the artist put all his gift in front of the observer with an aesthetic appreciation of the world thorough a strong philosophy!

The concept of the exhibition from the artist’s words

In life, some doors are opened for us when the right time comes. If you pass through, you start to see the things which you cannot before. About four years ago, I noticed that a door was opened for me. I have started to see people with their light and energy. This experience was the starting point of my “Light and Insects” concept.  I decided to work on an exhibition related to the light of people. Initially, I started to search for the darkness which gives way to the existence of light. I have reached at a considerable amount of knowledge about light and energy in physical and metaphysical sense by learning about Islamic, Eastern and Western philosophies. As a result of my observations and knowledge about light and energy, I have grouped people in three categories: The first group is called as ‘Light People’, the second one as ‘Reflectors’ and lastly the third group is named as ‘Insects’. The production process of the first piece was really painful. However, the other pieces came out just like a heavy rain which starts with few raindrops. At my 6th Solo exhibition, my aim is to encourage or create a motivation for people to question their own light and energy. The three categories I have thought of can be defined as;

1. Light People: They always produce the light and energy with their own coordination of mind. The amount of the light and energy they individually produce is always high above than their individual need; because the light and energy they create is not for personal use but for humanity. Their light and energy activate other sources of light and energy on the earth. In other words it is motivating. Light people are wise. They use knowledge to educate /train humanity in order to increase the consciousness and sensitivity. In addition, they are very cooperative, modest and respectful. Mevlana and Yunus Emre can be given as rarely found, good examples to this group.  Eight hundred years ago Mevlana said “Come, Come again! Whatever you are… Whether you are infidel, idolater or fireworshipper. Come, come again…” He takes attention to the humane virtues such as equality and care which are absent in our age.

Unfortunately, people still do not posses such understanding. We still create   discrimination because of race, language, color and sex. Besides Mevlana, Yunus Emre is another figure representing the Light People group. One of the sayings of Yunus Emre is “Let us get acquainted, love and be loved/ No one will survive forever.” And “If I told you about a land of love, friend, would you follow me and come?” can be interpreted as invitations to a peaceful and spiritual world which is quite opposite of ours that is full of wars and materialistic values. Here, now, on earth: Humans are against humans.

2. Reflectors: Reflectors seem very brilliant to you when you first meet them.  However, after you spend some time with them and share things, you become aware of their emptiness. You understand that you are mistaken and look at them again in order to see their real beings; but you face with their brightness again. You get confused and experience a great conflict. You try to question what you see. If they are empty, they should not have light and if they have light, they should not be empty.  It took me two years to solve and name this conflict.   I have deduced that the people in this category cannot produce the energy and light they need; but they can reflect the energy and light they take from Light people to others. They pretend to posses the source of Light and mistaken other people with their showy, exaggerated and egocentric, prophetic behaviors and guidance. Their basic behavior patterns are; first of all since their knowledge is superficial and insufficient, they do not assert themselves in an open, sincere and clear way. In addition, their populist attitudes and methods create an effect on others lacking commonsense. They are always in a showing –off style. When they notice somebody’s mistake, instead of helping him to correct and improve himself/herself, they just keep silent and store it as a hint in order to use it against that person. Actually if you ask whose representatives they are, I can say that almost all politicians can be included into this group.

3. Insects: Insects can be associated to the people who do not have any light or energy at all and function just like plants tied to soil or as insects. In order to compensate the absent light and energy they require in order to survive, instead of moving towards Light People, who are the representatives of the real source of light and energy, they tend to get attracted/caught and used by the deceiving shine of reflectors who use populist methods. In our society, insect people are the ones who obey a leader without any decision-mechanism, common sense or critical mind. In other words they are the people of huge masses who do not have any individuality. The source of this kind of behavior is based on the insect psychology.

During my creating process of the insects, I place the threatening and irritating character using grotesque elements but indirectly through an aesthetic construction. Using insects as the metaphor for a group of people made me think that I was unfair about selecting the insects as a kind to represent that group; because the human is a more disgusting and horrible creature possessing a limitless potential for destructing himself and his environment by wars and other various actions.

All people are born with the energy and light of the universe placed inside them. If we become aware what we really have inside and try to activate and use it, we become human first and then open a path to be a Light People. If we cannot manage to be conscious about our own source, we just follow the deceiving brightness of reflectors and become insect people.

I tried to use a minimalist approach while forming my work in an abstract expressionist style. I wanted my insects to posses both grotesque elements and also give the impression of a brooch by being involved in a Surrealist influence and may be Thrashart. Above all I do, I wanted to show how easily people have transformed themselves to killing machines  by ignoring/neglecting/being blind to the  qualities such as; empathy, affection, respect, wisdom, common sense, free will, and many others which in fact make a human a real  human. Moreover, I want to take your attention to way of changing this bad situation with education.

While hoping that this exhibition will bring light and energy to the people of my country, who have been longing to Light for a long time, I wish to say:

“May the Light be with you!

Bâki Boğaç

Translated by: Semen Emiroğulları

Photos of the art work exhibited

Insect 14 73x27x26 cm Stone and Metal bakibogac@hotmail.com

Photos from the Exhibition


About Bâki Boğaç

1951.  Born in Larnaca, Cyprus

1976. Graduated  from “İstanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture”.

1970-1976. Got Art training and practice at  Yavuz Güney’s Sculpture  studio and Painting studio of  Şadan Bezeyiş

1995-1996. As a volunteer, taught sculpture at Cyprus Art association Children’s Club .

1998-2003. worked as an Art teacher at EMU Kindergarden and Primary School

2001. Started Pygmalion, his own sculpture studio

Solo Exhibitions

1996. H.P Gallery , Nicosia

2001. Pygmalion Sculpture Studio, Famagusta

2003. Pygmalion Sculpture Studio, Famagusta

2004. Pygmalion Sculpture Studio, Famagusta

2006. “Fuar Alanı Gallery”, Güzelyurt

2009. Pygmalion Sculpture Studio, Famagusta

International Exhibitions

1988. II. International Asia-Europe Biennial, Ankara/Turkey

1990. III. International Asia-Europe Biennial, Ankara/Turkey

2002. The 71st International Fair of İzmir,  The 8th International Art Exhibition,  İzmir/Turkey

2003. The 72nd International  İzmir Fair, the 9th International Art Exhibition, İzmir/Turkey

Group Exhibitions

1983. Cyprus Art Association 1983 exhibition, Famagusta

1983. The 7th North Cyprus Fair Art Exhibition , Nicosia

1983. M.E.T group exhibition, Famagusta

1984. The 5th Nicosia Art and Culture Exhibition,Nicosia

1985. Famagusta I. “Folk Festival Exhibitioni”,Famagusta

1987. I. State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Nicosia

1988. Cyprus Art Association Group Painting and Sculpture Exhibition,Famagusta

1989. IV. State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Nicosia

1990. Cyprus Art Association  Painting and Sculpture Group Exhibition,Famagusta

1990. V. Cyprus Art Association Painting and Sculpture Group Exhibition, Nicosia

1990. “ Anılır Art Gallery”exhibition, Nicosia

1991. VI. State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Nicosia

1993. VIII. State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Nicosia

1994. Art Exhibition,Kyrenia

1994. “Green Peace” exhibition, Nicosia

1995. “Plant a Tree” exhibitioni, HP Gallery/Nicosia

1996. XI. State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Nicosia

1997. Lapta Culture, Art and Tourizm Festival exhibition, Lapta&Kyrenia

1998. I. Cultural Centre exhibition, Nicosia

1998. Group Sculpture Exhibition,Nicosia

1999. Acted as the jury  member at  XIV. State Painting and Sculpture exhibition

2001. “Plastic Art Collection”exhibitoin, Nicosia

2001. “Mediterranean Stories”exhibition ,Ankara/Türkiye

2003. V. “Intercultural Brush Strokes” exhibition, Nicosia

2003. “Opening Horizons(a bi-communal )exhibition,Nicosia

2003. “Turkish Cypriot Artits”exhibition, Nicosia

2005. The Cultural Meeting of European Countries” exhibition, Paris/France

2006. “Kudret-sizlik” exhibition, Famagusta

2007. Christmass exhibition, Larnaca

Prizes and Awards

1988. III. State Painting and Sculpture exhibition

1992. VII. State Painting and Sculpture exhibition

1995. X. State Painting and Sculpture exhibition

1998. XIII. State Painting and Sculpture exhibition

2001. XV. State Painting and Sculpture exhibition

Bâki Boğaç has acted as a jury member at various exhibitions. His Works  can be found in State Institutions and also in some private collections in Cyprus,Germany, France, UK, America and Turkey.

Next time you travel to Cyprus, have a visit to Bâki Boğaç’s Sculpture Studio: Pygmalion

(Visit also: http://www.facebook.com/pygmalion.sculpture.studio)

»If you like to contact with the artist, please e-mail to: bakibogac@hotmail.com

Woman Touch To The Stone: An Original Exhibition Which Has Never Seen Before

‘Women of Lace- Giving Birth’

An Exhibition by Turkish Cypriot Artist:

Sezin Boğaç

On 7th of May 2010, Turkish Cypriot artist Sezin Boğaç opened her first solo-exhibition named “Women of Lace-Giving Birth” at İsmet Vehit Güney Art Center in Nicosia/ Cyprus. In order to tell the secret dreams, hopes and wishes of many women which has been told trough generations to generations via lace-work, the artist transformed these hand-works into spectacular sculptures. Sezin Boğaç opened her firs exhibition after having 5 years art training and practice at Pygmalion Sculpture Studio by  Cyprus’s most famous and well known sculptor Baki Boğaç.

I have visited many exhibitions in famous art galleries and museums all over the Europe, yet I have not seen such an original work which combines the lace-work and plaster together…

The concept of the exhibition from the artist’s words:

Could the naive yet radical richness of the secular and moral values, delivered by woman be expressed by a word, color or melody? How, with what shall the love be described towards a new born life, the anxiety, longing, hopes and sadness lived, while the new born is growing? Hundreds of lives at the intersections, yet still whole, woman can carry it all… with thousands of beauties rising within…

Woman, is mother—since the birth of mankind, the source of the first soul… Woman is love. Love is fertile; because it is creative. Woman is creative, because she is love… And a new world can only be created with love. In short, I am willing to tell the adventure of expression of internal world of the woman who is the dreamer, creator, deliverer, shaper, and lives through the pain of creating in all aspects.

For years, I tried to express these dreams, beauties, happiness and sadness with the laceworks I made. Just like the carpet whose story goes back for hundreds of years… Weaving a carpet is an internal scream; the worries being weaved on the love loom. In the motives of carpet there are the spiritual stories telling about expressions of love, wounds of desire, dance of the feelings, sophisticated touch, and lackluster eyes. Different patterns on the motives reflect the deeps of the woman’s spirit, existence value, joys of the past and the present moment. Lacework, just like the carpet, hosts the worlds with different feelings in each of its motive. A lot is hidden in the motives of the lace, which are the reflections of the inner movement. Some have a secret lustful feeling, some have excitement, may be love or desire, even sadness, longing, dreams and anxiety. For the long years, I worked on putting in the transformation of the long lasting dream to a scream of the woman opposing the known, ordinary set to her, into my laceworks. However the world of the woman is so huge that, I decided to chose an abstract way of expression in order to be able to tell about her boundless richness. With the laces standing at the intervals of the abstract forms, I tried to tell the story of expressing ‘all feelings stifled in the woman.’

Hereby, woman’s dreams found a place first on the intervals of the laceworks, then on the intervals of the sculpture. Specifically personal, generally all women’s mutual joy, happiness, anxiety, their attitude of living life as if making a lace, and being a mother… A lot came out to be told…

My dearest woman friends run to my rescue and brought me their used, stale, laceworks, yet hiding numerous stories in their motives, as my laceworks could not keep up with my working speed. Each lacework brought to me held a different story, a different meaning. After the laces set the communication with me, the told stories turned into the richness of my art. And their laces transforming into sculptures, gave them excitement, too. Thus, their and my common journey carried on.

At the moment, the told story of the 38 pieces, is the common story of mine, my friends, and yours… Everyone of us has a story told in this exhibition. You see, the stories of ours, the lace women’s, will as long as the world keeps on turning.

Sezin Boğaç

Translation to English by: Maria Ayça Ateş

Photos of the art work exhibited

Photos from the Exhibition


About Sezin Boğaç

1951. Born in Nicosia, Cyprus.

1977. Graduated from İstanbul University, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Had chance to got Artistic Background by strolling around several exhibitions during her university education in İstanbul; and then in Cyprus).

1979-1989. Served in Gazimağusa State Hospital.

1989. Opened ‘Sezin Pharmacy’ in Gazimağusa and has been still worked as pharmacist.

1996. Had joined to Gazimağusa Municipality Turkish Art Music Choir; has attended various concerts (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002).

2005 . Has got Art training and practice at Pygmalion Sculpture Studio by Baki Boğaç.

2006. She is one of the founders of Cyprus Art Association Turkish Art Music Choir and has still served in the choir.

»If you like to contact with the artist, please e-mail to: sezinbogac@hotmail.com