Showing posts with label Internations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internations. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An Afternoon of Art and Beauty at the Borusan Contemporary, Part Three

After enjoying a beautiful meal in the Borusan Contemporary museum café, and going up to the 10th floor to see the beautiful view of the Bosphorus from the very top turret in Istanbul's haunted mansion, it was time to explore the art in Turkey's very first office art museum.
This was 1/4 of a Jim Dine painting
with four similar panels.
The color was fantastic.
Every office was full of the most spectacular
coffee table art books.
I could lose myself for hours
just in the books.
These binoculars were in the corner office
so I assume the office belonged to the chairman.
Below, his minimalistic desk.
Someone correct me, if I have this misidentified.

 Color of all hues
uplifted my spirit.
Do they do the same to you?
I thought the collection focus
of color repetition
was brilliant.
 The beautiful salon or living room
off of the corner office
had a whimsical, jazzy artwork on the ceiling.
An endearing personal touch.
How could kids resist
even the beauty of this elevator shaft?
What memories this place would create
in the minds of the staff's children.
One of the most fun videos in the collection
was in the stairwell.
It showed the furniture and dishes
of a home living room
sliding back and forth on the floor
as a house
was slowly rocked back and forth.
I could imagine a child
standing in front of it for hours
and giggling nonstop at the fun of it.
To access videos from the collection, click here.
"Eyeballs" inspired by George Orwell.
 Love it!
One of the few Istanbul-specific photography pieces.
The Hagia Sophia in snow.
The wishing tree
Staff and the public
left their wishes.
I didn't even notice the white "profile"
when I saw this neon art up close.
It was only when I got home and
saw this photo taken from across the room
that I saw it was more than abstract.
 "21 Books"
by a Korean artist
 The quality of building materials
was an unending delight.
I marveled at the precise heft of this door.
Love this blue.
How children must want to run their hands
continually over this piece
just to explore the symmetry, color, and sound of it.
All this art makes one feel like a child!
 We waved goodbye to the museum guides
through the "haunted" grillwork.
Perili Köşk at dusk.
"Goodbye Haunted Mansion!
You were an absolute delight."

Imagine opening up your work office to random people every weekend. I found this to be a very generous act by Borusan Holding Co.

Thank you for sharing your gorgeous art with the public. To the folks at Borusan Contemporary, I say, "your generosity is yet another example of why Turkish hospitality is the best in the world."

You might also enjoy:

An Afternoon of Art and Beauty at the Borusan Contemporary, Part One

An Afternoon of Art and Beauty at the Borusan Contemporary, Part Two

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Monday, July 22, 2013

An Afternoon of Art and Natural Beauty at Borusan Contemporary, Part Two

Isn't discovery exciting? One of my rules of life is - there must be some element of discovery in every single day. The "haunted mansion" Barb and I and our Internations friends had come to explore was actually Turkey's very first office art museum.

During the week, people who worked there were making decisions about a portfolio of companies collected into Borusan Holding Company. On weekends, from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. the whole building gets opened up to the public to explore and enjoy.
The entrance to the haunted mansion
did not feature cobwebs.
Instead, it hinted at the art collection focus:
many contemporary,
and especially,
video installations.
This particular piece of art
created by a German artist
used solar energy to power propellers
musical instruments
that emitted pleasing tones
This temporary exhibit was entitled Datascapes.
On the surface,
these may look like black and white photographs
of extraordinary mountain vistas.
What you see, is not what you get.
Each photo had been manipulated to represent
a set of financial data.
I'll let you guess,
which vista goes with which financial data set:
Nasdaq '80-'09 ,
and HangSeng '80-'09,
and Lehman Brothers '92-'08.
What great fun!
And what a clever way for an investor
to internalize the pattern.
This data visualization fascinated me
as it was the first time I had seen it used
for an art museum application.
A blue dot represented a certain collector.
A black dot represented a certain artist;
and a green dot represented a prediction
for an artist or a collector.
I found it to be a very cool
marketing, pricing, and strategy tool.
The breathtaking conference room
near the very top of the building.
Our museum guide shared that it illustrated
one of the focuses of the collection:
color repetition.
It made me wonder if there were any works of art
by Turkish artist Setenay Özbek
in the collection.
Her work would fit right in.
A view to the right
featured the ancient Rumeli Hisari fortress
on the Bosphorus
and closer in,
a minaret complete with an
emblematic crescent
at the top.
From the center end of the conference room,
I think it would be impossible to be bored
waiting for a meeting to start, don't you?
Instead of looking right or center,
 let's now look left,
 where there are doors
leading out to the terrace.
Don't you want to see the view
of the Bosphorus
from out there?
I do.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
Who doesn't love container ships?
And that glorious mansion or palace!
I wonder what it is.
That's the Black Sea beyond the ship.
The view closer in of the neighborhood.
A constant thought I had
during my visit is how
every aspect of the building
would delight any child
who comes to visit.
Yes, this is seating,
but how would a five-year-old use this?

It doesn't roll.
I checked.
So what's at the very top
of the haunted mansion?
In the very top turret?
Let's go look.
A perfect little spot for
two to four people
to close a deal.
Notice the color repetition
of coffee.
Come back tomorrow to explore the offices of Borusan Contemporary in my third post on Istanbul's haunted mansion or Perili Köşk. Now you have discovery in your day too!
In case you missed it, here's my first post
on Turkey's first office art museum,
Borusan Contemporary:
Some additional posts about art you might enjoy:
"CuriousSouls" Gather in Istanbul for Discussion

What's there to do in Wichita, Kansas? Why not see breathtaking art?

Welcome to Capitalism!

Celebrating 90 Years of Artist Zenděk Sýkora

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

An Afternoon of Art and Natural Beauty at Borusan Contemporary, Part One

Our quest:
to explore this "haunted mansion"
My friend Barbara proposed an afternoon outing yesterday. I was deep into a good book so I took much convincing.

"It's too beautiful to stay indoors!" she said. It was beautiful too. This summer temperatures in Istanbul this year have been wonderfully temperate. "O-k-a-y," I said reluctantly. Sometimes you just have to trust your friend and go with her.

This was our quest: to explore this magnificent old building from 1910. It's called the Perili Köşk, or Haunted Mansion. For years, it had an outer shell only. The entire building had never been fully finished as war had interrupted construction. While it sat in that state, the building would make noises that spooked the neighborhood as materials shifted around. Hence, its reputation as haunted.
 We walked from Barbara's place
in the Bebek neighborhood
along the captivating Bosphorus corniche
to Perili Köşk Istanbul,
about a 15-minute walk.
The renovation of the building
 by architect Hakan Kıran
had been done perfectly;
all the new materials enhanced
the magnificence of the 10-story building.
Our lunchtime view:
an Istanbul ferry under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
The Haunted Mansion had been renovated and updated with spectacular attention to detail. The inside was light, airy, and modern - not in a way that fought with the historic nature of the house, but in a way that uplifted the spirit and sharpened the senses.
The historic building has been leased to Borusan Contemporary Holding Company on a long-term lease. During the week, over 70 people worked there managing a portfolio of companies. On weekends, the building is opened up to the public to explore and enjoy. Not only is it a workplace, but an office art museum.
Our first stop was the second floor, where we were having lunch with Internations friends in the museum café.

This young Turkish woman
 had been fasting for Ramadan
since sunrise.
She sat with us at lunch,
 and as you can see,
she still had her humor.
This Polish woman
was such a firecracker.
She had come from practicing dressage
all morning
for a competition in Bulgaria
next month.
Serdar, the organizer for our outing,
had just been to Ecuador
for a homeopathy convention
where he was the lone Turk in attendance.
He had enjoyed serving as the
"flagbearer for his country."
Every spot in the café had an amazing view
of the Bosphorus
and the bridge and shipping traffic.
It was time to go in and explore the rest of the building. Our museum guide had arrived to show us around. I had no idea what to expect because I had not even heard of the building before that day. Come back for my next post on the Borusan Contemporary to see what we discovered:

An Afternoon of Art and Natural Beauty at Borusan Contemporary, Part Two

An Afternoon of Art and Natural Beaty at Borusan Contemporary, Part Three
You might enjoy a few other posts about architecture:
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Curious Souls" Gather in Istanbul for Discussion

The extraordinary painting of Setenay Özbek
at Art 350 Art Gallery in Istanbul
Breathtaking Color
Isil Musluer
One of the wonderful friends I have made through Istanbul Internations and my Global Minds Book Club is my Turkish friend Isil. Isil is an attractive, fun, positive and intelligent woman who is always uplifting to be around. 
Me with Curious Souls who were new to me
Mehmet and Tayfun
Isil recently organized a wonderful monthly discussion group through Internations called "Curious Souls." I couldn't help but think that Gertrude Stein, famous for her literary salons in Paris in the 1930s, would have been proud of Isil -- such was the delightful company of this group.
The audience primed for discussion
'Curious Souls' combined many of Isil's friends from Internations, and her friends from Istanbul Toastmasters. Toastmasters as an organization is new to Turkey. It was so fun to see my friend's ability to gather interesting people and create a wonderful atmosphere for discussion. Frankly, I was a a bit in awe of it! 
Petek in deep discussion
 We gathered at Art 350, an art gallery on the Anatolian (Asian) side of Istanbul, right on the main shopping street at 350 Bagdat Caddesi (Bagdad Street). We were surrounded by the inspiring painting of Setenay Özbek.
A discussion in full swing

 Isil invited people with these words:
 Are you fascinated with new ideas and new ways of looking at life? Do you have an insatiable desire to learn more? Do you get immense pleasure in listening to inspirational stories of great minds, and are you filled with appreciation for great talents? In short, are you a "Curious Soul"?  If you are, then, we are getting together once in a month, to watch two or three very interesting, mind-stretching and entertaining TED conferences. After each video conference, we carry a guided discussion and express our own points of view. If you are ready to experience the flourishing of diverse ideas, if you would like to express yourself, expand your horizons and grow together, and while doing these, if you would like to pass an enjoyable time together, then I invite you to come and join us.
Listening to each other
We discussed these videos:

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success.
Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story
Neil Harbisson: I listen to color (so appropriate given our surroundings)
Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.
 What is the single story told about your country?
I volunteered to moderate the discussion generated by Chimamanda Adichie's "The danger of a single story" since I had read her book "Half of a Yellow Sun" in our Global Minds Book Club. 
That video is the gift that keeps on giving, as a discussion could be had for hours on what is the single story about your country, or your race, or your class, or your religion, or your family, or you. We only had time to discuss what is the single story about your country.
I explained that before I came to Turkey, I didn't even have one single story about Turkey -- I had no stories. I knew nothing about Turkey as a nation, probably because our national histories don't bump up against each other.
I gave as an example the Bosphorus Bridge, a bridge every bit as beautiful as the Golden Gate Bridge, yet I had never seen a photo of it before coming to Turkey. Turkey has a long way to go until the other side of the world has even a single story, let alone multiple stories about it.
The insight I gained from the discussion is that if Turks tell a single story about each other, it's based on where they are from. They ask each other, "what city are you from?" and some decide immediately what someone's values and ethnicity are based on their image of the town.
I've seen that happen quite a bit actually; I've even had friends asked "what city is your husband from?" in job interviews. I could completely identify with this problem coming from Iowa, which generates the single story of "flyover country" if it generates a story at all.

 I felt trusted

It felt great to lead the discussion there; I felt trusted. Here we were discussing something so close to Turkish hearts in a language foreign to them. Out of the 30+ people there, only two of us were from another country. Could you find 30 of your friends able to discuss a topic all in the same foreign language in your home country? I could not.
Not a single person brought up the Turkish "single story" that used to drive Turks crazy for years as recently as five years ago: the story told in the movie "Midnight Express" about an American imprisoned for drug charges. I asked a woman about it later and she said "I thought about it though!"  That old single story about Turkey, while new to me, has been left behind, which I am sure, cheers the Turks. Their story is much, much bigger now.
Another great discussion
led by Alper Rozanes
generated by Alain de Botton's video
"A kinder, gentler philosophy of success"
 You know the discussions are good when you almost hate to see the next video start up.

Another insight I had from the combination of videos watched that day is how there seems to be a dominate "single story" about what constitutes success around the world: career success and wealth. How useful for the world's corporations.

Yet, there are many other ways to be successful, each an expression of human excellence. Think of success in marriage, or as a caregiver, or as a parent, or as a creative. We too often care too much about that dominant single story of success, rather than listen to our own drummer.

Isil's idea of a 'Curious Souls' discussion group would be an inexpensive idea to replicate anywhere in the world, wouldn't it? It's exciting the range of content available on the Internet.  It's no longer necessary to settle for what's on TV. We can skip the violence and go straight to intellectually uplifting.
 One last glorious painting by Setenay Ozbek

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