Feature: Turkish artist converts digital selfies into traditional portraits

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 27, 2019
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by Zeynep Cermen

ISTANBUL, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Inspired by traditional weaving designs and techniques born in Anatolia, a Turkish artist transformed selfies taken with mobile phones into art pieces and presents them to the public.

Firat Neziroglu on Tuesday kicked off his first exhibition entitled "Selfie" at a gallery in central Istanbul, where he puts on show seven portraits woven on digital selfies.

For Neziroglu, his works lay bare the differences between the digital-era selfie pictures and the traditional portraits woven with Anatolian kilim weaving techniques and patterns.

"Today, people try to understand the emotions of others through selfies, without looking into each other's eyes, but by just glancing at the photos," Neziroglu spoke of the philosophy behind his pieces.

"They fail to do so," he told Xinhua.

It takes just a second to take a selfie, while Neziroglu spent 600 hours weaving a traditional portrait, mostly by looking into the eyes of his models and their photos.

For his creations, Neziroglu uses silk, cotton, wool and fish lines as well as light, shadow and others.

"Apart from that, I am genuinely using the Anatolian kilim weaving techniques without making any tiny change," Neziroglu said. "You can always find traditional kilim designs that are geometric, sharp and angled in my art pieces."

The first textile sample in the world has been unearthed during archaeological excavations conducted in Catalhoyuk, a Neolithic, proto-city settlement in southern Anatolia, said Neziroglu.

In the view of the artist, the "divine creativity" of the hands of the ancient people is building bridges between the past and the future through his works.

Historians acknowledged that kilims played a significant role in the lives of the nomads living in Anatolia as they were used on grounds, walls and on top of their tents to keep warm.

Neziroglu is planning an exhibition in China next year to introduce Anatolian kilim weaving patterns to Chinese people and show how he combined these designs with his contemporary art pieces.

"Chinese fabrics have more floral and soft patterns, including all the pictures of dragons, fishes and flowers when compared with the explicit shapes of Anatolian kilims," he said, defining the stylization of Chinese textiles, particularly Chinese silk, as "excellent."

"I have already started to work on all the aspects of Chinese fabrics," he said.

Neziroglu recently created a portrait of British Queen Elizabeth II, intending to present it at an event to mark the good relationship between Turkey and Britain. Enditem

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