The ArtContact Istanbul Art Fair has been welcoming visitors indoors, in-person as of Tuesday with works from over 1,000 local and foreign artists presented in more than 100 galleries. The aim of the fair is to promote artwork in the public sphere and international collaboration.
“We consider bringing together art in public spaces, promoting young people, and intensifying international collaborations the goal of the fair,” Bilgin Aygül, the board head of the organizer company Atis Fairs, said and added that the fair also encourages emerging artists and new projects.
After being on hiatus for a year and a half due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, during which art has gained more importance, the fair would love to welcome visitors and be welcomed by them, Aygül said.
“We hope that we will have a healthy and successful fair together without any problems by taking all necessary and recommended measures of the relevant authorities due to COVID-19,” he said.
“Health personnel and their spouses, who have had difficult working conditions for the last year due to the pandemic, will be able to enter the fair without paying a fee,” he added.
Art will help to overcome these difficult days by its “creative, integrative, and formative power,” he noted.
He expressed hope that ArtContact Istanbul would evolve into an event that is recognized and respected by the international art community soon.
“We invite our artists and all art lovers to our fair with the belief that the creative, formative and sharing power of art will be a new light source,” he noted.
With the creation of new opportunities for artists to meet with society, art fairs come to the agenda as a method of artistic sharing, he stressed.
This year, the fair's Honorary Award to Art was given to Ibrahim Balaban, the Contribution to Art award to Bedri Baykam and the Institution Honor Award to Asassanat, he added.
The fair, which is open to exhibitors between June 1 and 6, is held at Yenikapı Eurasia Show and Art Center, one of the contemporary venues suitable for art fairs.
It offers an indoor and outdoor area of more than 16,000 square meters (over 172,000 square feet) where the indoor area is without columns and a ceiling height of 16 meters (52 feet).
As there is a restriction on individual participation, more than a hundred exhibitors will exhibit the works of over 1,000 local and international artists.
Galleries, museums, educational institutions and companies that produce art materials participate in the fair.
Conferences, interviews and concerts will be held in two different halls, and street art and sculpture exhibitions will be held in an outdoor area.
The fair includes the COVID-19-related I-Solated Contact project, curated by Özge Gökbulut Özdemir.
The project, which combines the works from the U.K., India, Australia and Turkey, focused on reestablishing ties with many things in our isolated and distant times during the pandemic. It also represents the reunion of society in a real art atmosphere.
As part of the fair, the Turkish Ceramics Association will exhibit their works based on the concept of "Antropause-Human Pause," which they believe delivers the message that the fight against COVID-19 can be a warning to maintain the balance of nature.
“The pandemic process causes great human loss and economic losses, forcing us to press a stop button against the damage we do to the environment. The coronavirus will not be the last pandemic if we continue to treat our planet in this way. But if we follow the right path, the pandemic can be the salvation of nature,” the association said.