Glimpse by Sarah Tamala Kang

Nice idea, made me smile.

Sometimes we cannot help but to try and catch a glimpse of the otherside.

Passing through the everyday spaces we inhibit, the door half opened always stirs up a sense of seduction and curiosity within us. Inspired by these ordinary yet inexplicable moments in our daily lives, I designed a mirror that gives an illusion of a door opening on any given surface.” is the description of Glimpse. Check out other works from Sarah Tamala Kang on her website.


Update from my life + Pera Museum

Lately I have been busy with my internship in a printing house. It’s a nice place hidden in a queer neighborhood, the place is in the middle of the city but nobody really knew how to get there and I got lost 4 times on my second day (the first day I had hired a cab) but well, when you learn how to get there the rest is easy. Oh and I have learned a lot from my internship so far.

Last weekend I went to the Botero exhibition in the Pera Museum with my mother, and it was quite interesting but not as interesting as the exhibitions downstairs from the Suna and İnan Kıraç collection. One was of the panaromas of İstanbul and other nice portraits of women and royal life. There was also a replica of the Tamer of tortoises (Kaplumbağa Terbiyecisi) which my mother took a liking to since she first saw its photo many years ago. The other exhibition was of the various types of weighing systems, and there were a lot of weights from Roman Antiquity to Byzantium period weights to Ottoman then modern weights and so, there was one shaped like the head of Heracles (or Hercules), another looking  like a 12-sided die which we use to play FRP and much more. There was also a pretty sundial which I liked, and next time I’ll be sure to bring my camera with me, because they were so pretty ^^

By the way, entering the Pera Museum is only 3 liras for students and 5 liras per person for other people. So it’s quite cheap and worth paying for to see those wonderful collections.

London

I haven’t been online for awhile. I am in London!!! It’s so exciting because I can get to see my dear friend Iris (she says meow) whom I met during a Buddhist university chinese summer camp which included a lot of sports, language classes, “voluntary” work, and the lousy dorm where we were roommates with cockroaches. And of course, to see London –  a lot of paintings, sculptures, buildings, clock towers, bridges etc etc to die for! Sooo. I’ve been to the British Museum, Madame Tussauds, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts (where they have a very interesting exhibition at the moment – the Real Van Gogh: the Artist and his letters), the Houses of Parliament (and Big Ben), Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the Chinatown at Leicester Square (like 3 times – Asian food!), London Zoo, the Aquarium, Harrods.. I love London so far and I find the metro/subway – which they call the tube (officially Underground) very amusing.

I will update with more photos I took when I go back home, which will be like after the 9th of February.

What about the style? – The Second-hand / Handmade Clothing & Accessory Shop Idea, Bitpazarı

Here are some images that I think will be helpful of the VA 301 class to define the style of Bitpazarı, the second-hand/ handmade clothing and accessory shop.

BLOKE Clothing provides hard to find and exclusive brand name evening casual wear for men in Calgary. I liked the slogan and the placement here.

BLOKE Clothing provides hard to find and exclusive brand name evening casual wear for men in Calgary. I liked the slogan and the placement here.

The Attic wholesales used and vintage clothing to companies and individuals all over the world.

The Attic wholesales used and vintage clothing to companies and individuals all over the world.

Another image from Attic Vintage. The barrels look quite interesting, and this setting might attract the younger population.

Another image from "Attic Vintage". The barrels look quite interesting, and this setting might attract the younger population.

Again, an image from Attic Vintage, but this time we see a wall of clothes. Quite original.

Again, an image from Attic Vintage, but this time we see a wall of clothes. Quite original.

More photos from Attic Vintage, which is very close to the image of Bitpazarı in my head:

the ATTIC Vintage Clothing Store is designed in a distinctive retro look and feel. Its like stepping into a time machine. 1965, here we come!

"the ATTIC Vintage Clothing Store is designed in a distinctive retro look and feel. Its like stepping into a time machine. 1965, here we come!"

Another vintage clothing store, peanutbreath, has a wide selection of vintage clothing too. I think this one is not bad, although the Attic has much more options. I like the clothing racks of peanutbreath though.

I really also liked retrostar, which is in Australia, just look at the store. Love the changing rooms.

retrostar

There is also a Right to the Moon Alice Vintage Clothing, who claims to have worked with several movies including "Mona Lisa Smile", "The Kite Runner" and "All Good Things". That's quite impressive, and their 20,000 square foot warehouse is too.

So I guess these kinds of places have rows and rows of clothing in a large location where people have to thumb through for a long time to find something just for them. But this might be more attracting since most of the clothes are one of a kind.

What about the style? – The Chinese Restaurant Idea, Çubuk

Here are some images that I think will be helpful of the VA 301 class to define the style of Çubuk, the Chinese Restaurant. (By the way I was thrilled that my idea got 5 votes. And there I was, thinking it was quite a selfish idea to even talk about. Thanks guys :D )

I really do like the skeleton of the chairs here, although I cant say the same about the dirty yellow colour which ruins the atmosphere. The lamps are not nice at all, but the screens and chair skeletons are good.

I really do like the skeleton of the chairs here, although I can't say the same about the dirty yellow colour which ruins the atmosphere. The lamps are not nice at all, but the screens and chair skeletons are good.

The wall detail, the lamp and the windows are not bad, but the tables and chairs here dont have any particular attributes. The porcelain vases are not bad, but their placement seems crude and badly done.

The wall detail, the lamp and the windows are not bad, but the tables and chairs here don't have any particular attributes. The porcelain vases are not bad, but their placement seems crude and badly done.

I actually liked the interior of this particular restaurant but I think it might be a bit stuffy because the reddish-pinkish colour is...well... suffocating..

I actually liked the interior of this particular restaurant but I think it might be a bit stuffy because the exclusive use of reddish-pinkish colour is...well... suffocating..

I think this one is quite well. The use of space and the decoration is nicely done, although I dont really like the walls, that is not something that cannot be changed.

I think this one is quite well. The use of space and the decoration is nicely done, although I don't really like the walls, that is not something that cannot be changed.

This one is a bit more plain, but I do like the lighting.

This one is a bit more plain, but I do like the lighting.

This one seems a little bit more quiet and cozy, but more exclusive at the same time. I like the use of space and lighting here.

This one seems a little bit more quiet and cozy, but more exclusive at the same time. I like the use of space and lighting here.

I actually like the atmosphere here, partly because of the pool, but I dont think making that is possible in the climate of Turkey. Plus, I think the only thing that implies that this is a Chinese restaurant is the pool and maybe the elephant. The chairs, tables etc. are quite unrelated.

I actually like the atmosphere here, partly because of the pool, but I don't think making that is possible in the climate of Turkey. Plus, I think the only thing that implies that this is a Chinese restaurant is the pool and maybe the elephant. The chairs, tables etc. are quite unrelated.

I think that this is more like a Japanese Restaurant than a Chinese Restaurant, but I like the chairs around the centre and the floor as well.

I think that this is more like a Japanese Restaurant than a Chinese Restaurant, but I like the chairs around the centre and the floor as well.

Just look at the floor. The tables, chairs, ridiculous statue, walls seem bad.

Just look at the floor. The tables, chairs, ridiculous statue, walls seem bad.

For those who want to know how a fastfood Chinese Restaurant may look like, they look much plainer.

For those who want to know how a fastfood Chinese Restaurant may look like, they look much plainer.

This one is actually from a quite nice chain restaurant called Ping Pong Dim Sun. I like the atmosphere although it is actually quite unique, because I wouldnt have called it a Chinese Restaurant by looking at the interior if it hadnt got the chopsticks and round table at the right side of the photograph. Here is the website: http://www.pingpongdimsum.com/

This one is actually from a quite nice chain restaurant called "Ping Pong Dim Sun". I like the atmosphere although it is actually quite unique, because I wouldn't have called it a Chinese Restaurant by looking at the interior if it hadn't got the chopsticks and round table at the right side of the photograph. Here is the website: http://www.pingpongdimsum.com/

These guys used too much red but if you look carefully, you can see the internal roof which looks interesting.

These guys used too much red but if you look carefully, you can see the internal roof which looks interesting.

I like the inn-like look of this restaurant.

I like the inn-like look of this restaurant.

A bit too plain, and Im not sure if the stools are comfy at all (or suitable for children to sit) but I like the classic revolving round tables.

A bit too plain, and I'm not sure if the stools are comfy at all (or suitable for children to sit) but I like the classic revolving round tables.

Too modern maybe?

Too modern maybe?

Now the description of this photo says The concept of fancy chairs by the window is really popular in China with dating teenagers! and it is popular in Taiwan in bubble tea cafes, and I really approve that the swinging chairs are for teenagers and young adults but there might be a section where the swinging chairs could be used.

Now the description of this photo says "The concept of fancy chairs by the window is really popular in China with dating teenagers!" and it is popular in Taiwan in bubble tea cafes, and I really approve that the swinging chairs are for teenagers and young adults but there might be a section where the swinging chairs could be used.

This one is a bit more traditional than some of the other images. I really do like the round door/entrance and we do just get a glimpse of what the interior looks like, but I guess some setting like this would be appropriate for a division situated in a mall.

This one is a bit more traditional than some of the other images. I really do like the round door/entrance and we do just get a glimpse of what the interior looks like, but I guess some setting like this would be appropriate for a division situated in a mall.

The umbrella lights are quite nice, although they seem to have randomly placed them here. The back wall looks nice too.

The umbrella lights are quite nice, although they seem to have randomly placed them here. The back wall looks nice too.

This one is supposedly a top notch Chinese Restaurants, but if you ignore the ridiculous chandeliers, I think the ceiling is quite nice, especially if you think about them without the quite bright fluorescent lights.

This one is supposedly a top notch Chinese Restaurants, but if you ignore the ridiculous chandeliers, I think the ceiling is quite nice, especially if you think about them without the quite bright fluorescent lights.

If you ignore everything else here, the way the tissues are folded are quite nice and they look cute.

If you ignore everything else here, the way the tissues are folded are quite nice and they look cute.

Lastly, this is the restaurant called Mai-Ling in Kadıköy that my uncle opened. I think the interior is nice in a plain and simple way.

Lastly, this is the restaurant called Mai-Ling in Kadıköy that my uncle opened. I think the interior is nice in a plain and simple way. Looks neat.

11th Istanbul Biennal – What Keeps Mankind Alive?

I visited two of the 11th Istanbul Biennal locations on Saturday; at the Feriköy Greek School in Şişli and the Tobacco Warehouse in Tophane. I didn’t go to the third and largest location, Antrepo No.3 yet, because I had some other exhibitions that I wanted to visit that day. Funny thing is, I had thought that all of these locations were odd, but according to the Biennal Guide, The Top 5 venues wish list went like this:

1. Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture

2. The ex-Istanbul U.S. Consulate General building

3. Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Center

4. Haydarpaşa Train Station

5. Park Hotel

These locations, unfortunately were not able to host the biennal due to bureaucratic, financial and security reasons, which is quite a shame because I really think that the Haydarpaşa Train Station would have been awesome.

I thought the most intruiging part of the Biennal within the Feriköy Greek School was Larissa Sansour’s short movie, “Soup Over Bethlehem” which according to the Biennal Guide, “depicts and ordinary Palestinian family, Sansour’s own, seated around a table on a rooftop overlooking Bethlehem. ‘Mloukhieh’, a national Palestinian dish is served, and what starts as a culinary discussion about the food soon evolves into a personal and engaging conversation about the politics and conditions of life under the restraints of occupation. Snatches of English occasionally interrupt the Arabic spoken around the table, indicating the ways in which fragmented identities are rebuilt through life in exile. The routine issues discusses amongst family members in the middle of the occupation counters clichés about victimhood and the stereotyped debates over identity.

‘I’m so occupied these days’, says one of the people at the table towards the end of the video. Someone replies, laughing: ‘Aren’t we all.’ Along with Sansour’s other projects, Soup Over Bethlehem breaks up ethnic stereotypes with a strategic dose of humour, and depicts Palestinian reality in a way that remains critical, yet steers clear of representational clichés”

I liked Sansour’s video because I think that might have been how conversations around my mother’s family table might have been when they first arrived at Istanbul. If you want to watch the video, it’s available here.

The other work I really liked – and found very amusing – was Siniša Labrović‘s Postgraduate Education. According to the Biennal Guide,

“Using different performative strategies Siniša Labrović challenges the limits of what is allowed, and the codependence between artist, audience and exhibition context. Postgraduate Education uses the rhetoric of self-help and ‘how to’ books, transferring it to the field of education. But this particular education teaches the ABC of typical criminal activities. The book is a continuation of Undergraduate Studies organized in 2008 in Zagreb as a series of workshops held by ‘experts’ from different fields of crime, with topics ranging from drug dealing and burglary, to ‘rules of conduct’ in criminal circles.

In the post-industrial context, Labrović challenges market and class demands for ‘life-long education’, which requires improvement in every aspect of the worker’s labour skills, and increasing ‘flexibility’. Commenting ironically on the increasingly blurred borders between business, politics and crime, the book offers an overview of different topics, ranging from debt collection and shoplifting to developing public-private partnerships, corruption and nepotism. The irony is taken to its extreme. The bold approach of Postgraduate Education follows the doctrine of the education system -preparing people for (more or less) successful servitude within the established systems, through opportunism, competition, deceitfulness, and highly structured rules of conduct. It suggests criminal behaviour as a prerequisite to both commercial and social success.”

I think you should see the text of Labrović’s work for yourself, it is really hilarious.

In the other Biennal venue I visited, the Tobacco Warehouse, I found the work of Vyacheslav Akhunov‘s work 1m2 very interesting. According to the Biennal guide,

1 m2 (2007) is an installation of one square metre of matchboxes, and is probably the largest retrospective exhibition displayed in such a small space. The matchboxes are filled with the artist’s small-scale reproductions, drawings and plans taken from his numerous journals and albums from 1976 to 1991. On a monitor available for detailed viewing there is an archive of Akhunov’s journals and artist’s books.
Akhunov’s works push the aesthetics of Soviet propaganda to the limits, and open up a number of questions that go beyond ironic subversion of the ideological apparatus. They form an archive that has a relationship to the past, beyond that of revisionism or nostalgia, and their relationship with communism remains open.”

1m2

1m2

Another work that I found interesting in the Tobacco Warehouse was Işıl Eğrikavuk‘s short documentary video,  Gül. The story of this young woman was truly interesting and captivating. According to the Biennal Guide,

“In Gül (2008), the main character, a woman, talks about her past and the arranged marriage she had to endure at the age of fourteen. As the young woman talks she is interrupted by scenes in which she takes on the role of an actor, commenting on the ‘character’ she is playing, and analysing the plausibility of her role. The almost voyeuristic interest in hearing the confessions of an abused woman is subverted as the story slides into fiction, questioning society’s reaction to violence.”

I really want to visit the third location of the Biennal soon, and I recommend everyone to go while the Biennal lasts (which is until the 8th of November).

The Biennal Guide I rant on about is only 2 YTL (which is not even a Euro) so it is very cheap and it’s not bad either if you want to have more information about the artists and their works. Here is the map for the Biennal venue locations, but I can say that the Feriköy Greek School is just at the top of the slope from the Osmanbey Metro station, and the Tobacco Warehouse is a short walk from the Galata tower (when you walk past it from the left, not the right), go down the slope, walk until the end of the road and it’s there.

Dispatchwork by Jan Vormann

I think lego fans would like how lego blocks are used by Jan Vormann, by filling the gaps in actual old brick or stone walls, name it as “Dispatchwork” and describing it as “playfully conquering public space”. The idea is lovely, and the looks of it is as well. This work has been done in several cities such as Bocchignano, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Amsterdam, Belgrade, Arnsberg and St. Petersburg.