Lauded Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan opens photo exhibition in US
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's 'The World of My Father' opened on Oct. 30 at the Tina Kim Gallery in New York, and will continue until Dec. 13. AA PhotosThe Tina Kim Gallery in New York has just opened “The World of My Father,” an exhibition of photographs by the celebrated Turkish film director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Organized to coincide with the New York premiere of Ceylan’s latest feature film “Winter Sleep” at The Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition is the artist’s first photography exhibition in the U.S.
“The World of My Father” offers a rare chance to appreciate the incisive eye of a contemporary master in multiple mediums, as well as an opportunity to explore how photography remains a foundational aspect of his filmmaking. The exhibition will continue until Dec. 13, 2014.
Having shot eight award-winning films over the last decade, Ceylan’s work is characterized by certain recurring themes, many of which are rooted in his photography. Confronting the complexity of the Turkish identity at the crossroads of Eurasia, his work focuses on intimate psychological portraits in stunning detail, capturing the subtle richness of geographical locations and local customs, along with postmodern existential themes.
“Using long takes in his films and unusual vantage points, Ceylan’s films betray a willingness to let stillness and shadow be a central actor. This same commitment to subtle imagery is at work in his photographs that focus intently on the formal interplay between subject and place. In this way the photographs can be seen as studies or meditations forming the basis for his films. But in this same light, they stand on their own as even more powerful and distilled compositions that form exquisitely beautiful elegies,” says a statement issued by the Tina Kim Gallery to accompany the exhibition.
In the exhibition, Ceylan turns his formidable gaze to his father, Mehmet Emin Ceylan, a charismatic subject who played prominent roles in his first three films “Clouds of May” (1999), “The Small Town” (1997) and “Cocoon” (1995). Framing universal themes of love and loss, the rich portraits of his father capture his stoic countenance with profound emotion, depicting him as elderly and undeniably vulnerable.
“As a body of work the poignant and honest portrayals begin to feel like fragments of a film that is never ending, thereby completing a symbolic relationship that blurs the line between art and life and that establishes Ceylan as a profoundly important and ethical artist," the gallery also stated.
“Expertly manipulating light, as well as choosing complex domestic interiors, the images have been likened to painters like Turner and Breughel the Elder because of their deeply humanistic portrayals and prosaic feel. This comparison to painting is especially apt given Ceylan’s meticulous printing process that lends the works palpable depth,” it added.
A writer and film director, Ceylan’s films have received some of the highest honors at festivals around the world and his most recent film, “Winter Sleep” won the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. His photography has been shown at the Milli Reasürans Gallery in Istanbul, the BFI Southbank in London and the Médiathèque Michel Crépeau Gallery in La Rochelle, France.
Many of Ceylan's photographs can be seen on his official website.