Çolpan’s birds fly now, his ships soar

The cosmos of Nusret Çolpan, the master of miniatures, came to life in the exhibition “A Nakkaş Between Earth and Sky” organized by the Municipality of Fatih. In the two-part exhibition, in which a traditional art is adapted to the zeitgeist in an unprecedented way, works whose originals can be seen in Kadırga are combined with animations in Cam Küp Gallery. Visitors who visit Çolpan’s unique figures in the exhibition, accompanied by the sounds of birds and waves, also trace the layers of the artist’s soul.


In the past two decades, we have witnessed hundreds of exhibitions in the field of Turkish Islamic art, revived by many institutions in Turkish art. From the classic lines of the masters to the contemporary interpretations of the young masters, from the art of calligraphy to the miniature, we have pursued many searches in our traditional arts. Today, an exhibition is taking place in two different locations in Fatih, taking all of these endeavors to the next level, and perhaps for the first time, a traditional art truly speaks to the zeitgeist. The exhibition A Nakkaş Between Earth and Sky: Nusret Çolpan, brought to life by the Fatih community with project manager Osman Özsoy and consultant Gülçin Anmaç, not only presents the art lovers with the works of a master artist, but also almost exudes artist spirit to the present day. In the second leg of the exhibition, where Çolpan’s classic works encounter visitors to the Kadırga Art Galleries, the master artist’s birds fly with wings, his waves literally wave, and his unique galleys soar above those waves.


My advice to those who want to see the exhibition is to visit the exhibition in Kadırga first. Gülçin Anmaç, the exhibition advisor and one of the most important miniature artists of our time, with whom I visited the exhibition in Kadırga, gives the following information to Teacher Çolpan for this part of the exhibition, which includes her classic works: “We have 42 Miniature works by Çolpan used in the exhibition. We have arranged these works in chronological order. This part is very important because in the exhibition you can see not only the artist’s works, but also his evolution over the years. He begins his early studies in the early 1970s, during his undergraduate years. His work, which was approved by Süheyl Ünver’s workshop in 1976, can also be seen in the exhibition. Besides his masterpieces, you can also see the watercolors that Çolpan made before he came to Istanbul and that he gave to his wife and friend.”

The “development of the artist” mentioned by Anmaç can be clearly seen in the exhibition here. Çolpan, whose trees are seen in a bird’s-eye view in his early works as a reflection of his architectural identity, is now detailing his trees post-1980s. The search for innovation in the waves of the Çolpan seal in miniature art can be followed step by step from day one. In the artist’s works after 2000, which we can call mature works, the famous wave figure, unique to us, now appears in a way that has found its own harmony. We see nature’s social events such as night, day and snow, which were rare in miniature art until Çolpan, multiply in an explosion. Anmaç, who paints the historical peninsula in many forms, gives the following information about the perspective view that seems to get richer and richer in his works: “There are two types of views in what we call miniature reading, one is the figure to see one bird’s head and the other is seen from the opposite side. It’s really difficult to combine these two views. After a while, Çolpan begins to see both from the front and from above in his works. For example, he sees the Grand Bazaar from above as a silhouette, and he sees the Mosque from the direction of the Qibla, in the same work.” The Kadirga exhibition ends with sketches rarely seen in traditional art. Çolpan’s original sketches, which he worked on in ink on the Aydinger, encounter visitors as the most important parts of the artist’s art journey.


After visiting both exhibition venues, the project manager Osman Özsoy, with whom I spoke, expressed his great pleasure in bringing the exhibition to life by Çolpan, who after his youth spent his whole life in Fatih, the city where he lived to awaken. and said he wanted to turn his works into moving paintings through revival. After his death at a young age, I always dreamed of realizing this idea of ​​his. Finally, this dream has come true here.” Stating that the original works in the exhibition were collected from eight different private collections, Anmaç expresses his general opinion on the exhibition as follows: “The idea of ​​an exhibition with a young perspective, digital art and moving Animation is a first in our traditional arts. I am happy that it is an exhibition that makes young people feel closer to our teacher Nusret, and even those who do not know him will feel close themselves.” Those who want to see the exhibition can still visit both places Visit by June 1st.



At the exhibition’s second stop, the Glass Küp Gallery, visitors enter a cosmic world and encounter Çolpan’s miniatures in a revived form. Numan Noyan Küçük, Yıldırım İnce and Taha Oğuz Sartekin are the architects of the interactive works here. We hear the sounds of the artist’s birds and encounter the roar of the legendary waves in the exhibition touring under the celestial themes in Çolpan’s original works in Kadırga. The night lights of Anadolu Hisarı’s painting fall on us, and the figures of the Maiden’s Tower, which he painted many times, move with small touches on the wall in his work “Pearl of Deep Blue”. Küçük, one of the curators of the exhibition, with whom we visited this part of the exhibition, said that he wanted Çolpan’s work to be activated before his death, saying: “We wanted to capture in our work a point of view that is close to today’s perspective comes . We have tried to revitalize the meaning of the works in the artist’s works without shifting them elsewhere. We have set out from the universe to reflect the spirit of the place, from the sky to the ground.” After the clouds on the walls of the place, the Iskender Pasha Mosque in Fatih comes out and the ships swing on the animated waves. One of Çolpan’s rare works, the Rose Mosque, which gave the exhibition its title “Between Earth and Heaven,” expands and the layers of sky in the work meet the earth in a rhythm that fits the spirit of the work. An installation of Çolpan’s ships is also included in the exhibition under the name “Kadırga”. Curator Yıldırım said: “We examined the ship and galley figures that we often encounter in Çolpan’s works. We thought of bringing in a contemporary interpretation as an installation. Normally we made it out of fiberglass, but in accordance with the master’s attitude, we used the paper ship shape.” The exhibition’s curatorial team, which masterfully combines miniature art and animation genres, succeeds in showing visitors the multi-layered structure of Çolpan’s original works showcase.


The determination of Fatih Mayor M. Ergün Turan is behind many successful organizations in Fatih, one of the districts that was not mentioned in the culture and art world until a few years ago, although it is a district that additionally hosts many artists to its historical value. President Turan, whom we met after the exhibition, speaks enthusiastically about the Nusret Çolpan exhibition and uses the following expressions: “Of course, it’s not just about organizing exhibitions and events. We want to work permanently. You know, we published Revnakoğlu Istanbul which was prepared for publication by Mustafa Koç. This is a source work for Istanbul, we want to do more of this type of work. For example, not only do we put on these exhibitions, we also have a website where we upload all the works. Anyone can see these works whenever they want, and an important archive will be formed.” Those who wish to see the website mentioned by Turan can follow the link “fatih.bel.tr/tr-TR/360%C2%B0- visit our exhibitions. The place where the works of many exhibitions such as Yeditepe Biennale, Yılmaz Özbek, Ali Alparslan, Aslıhan Kuşoğlu, İbnülemin Mahmud Kemal İnal and high-quality photographs made with great care unlike their counterparts are displayed is a treasure for art lovers .

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