Held in the Syria Passage in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district by Erdoğan Altındiş, who is an architect and artist with disabilities, "Yearning - The child in me" exhibition is open to visitors until the new year.
Working as an architect both in Germany and Istanbul for 30 years, Altındiş is holding his first art exhibition.
"Architecture can also be taken as a branch of art and I'm closely interested in many branches of art in addition to architecture. I have been busy with painting for 20 years," he said. "In all my experience, I acted as a unifying body among people. In recent times, Turkish people face social differentiation more and more. When I thought on how to unify these people, I remembered my childhood memories. Those days, we didn't ask each other's ethnicities or religion. Inspired by those old days, I intended to make a kite for everyone in the Syria Passage and complement the differences among individuals with them. I made a unique kite for everyone just like every single one of them are unique individuals."
An introvert microcosmos
Altındiş also noted that he held one-on-one interviews with all the artisans at the passage and added, "The exhibition includes also the interviews. With this study, what I wanted to do in fact, is to expose an introvert microcosmos. People passing by the passage get in and visit the exhibition after coming across the kites. At the same time, their childhood memories flood back."
Underlying that kites have so much sentimental value, Altındiş said, "A kite is a captivating toy and means a lot to most people. The ones who visit the exhibition can feel this. At the same time, a kite is an object that binds people together. For example, when you pull the ropes of a kite, it pulls you in return. When you give the same kite to the hands of the wind, the wind tries to take you to the sky. Transacting this feeling is exactly what I tried to do with this exhibition."
German, Turkish culture together
Altındiş also stated that under the context of the exhibition he arranged rooms that tell about his childhood and said, "I remembered the games I played with my friends up until I was 10. Then, my Germany memories, dating back to the times when my father took me to Germany due to my disability, flooded back. I went there just for three months, however, 45 years of my life passed there. All my life changed there. Hence, I arranged a Kayseri and a Munich room for the exhibition."
"I witnessed some visitors filled with tears upon remembering their own childhood. That was really touching. In addition to being an exhibition venue, the passage also started to transform into a meeting point, or a playground for some. There is also a 'yearning room' as part of the exhibition. People are free to get in and make some art inside. Also, I want to go on acting as a go between Germany and Turkey via holding readings, conversations, film screenings at this exhibition hall. We will hold events on whatever these two cultures have in common. We are also open to evaluate any project."