Photos illuminate 60 years of the deep sea

Photos illuminate 60 years of the deep sea

Photos illuminate 60 years of the deep sea

With the works of 90 photographers, the exhibition ‘Deep Sea Illuminators, 1952- 2012’ tells the story of the past 60 years, a period covering the early pioneers of the mysterious underwater world.

Bringing together the work of underwater photographers capturing the mysterious deep sea, a new exhibition entitled “Deep Sea Illuminators, 1952-2012” features the work of nearly 90 artists, along with screenings of underwater documentaries. Curated by Saygun Dura, the exhibition will remain open until Feb. 28.

“Deep Sea Illuminators, 1952-2012” tells the story of the past 60 years, a period covering the early pioneers of the mysterious underwater world such as Rasim Divanlı, Mustafa Kapkın, Yalçın Haraçoğlu, Zareh Magar, Baskın Sokulluoğlu and Tosun Sezen, as well as prominent award-winning contemporary Turkish photographers.

Besides the work of 90 photographers, the exhibition also includes important video documentaries by Engin Aygün, Bengiz Özdereli and Saki Uğurlu.

Opening the door to a journey to the deep seas through photographs turns the treasures of a world into a visual feast. The exhibition encompasses a great variety of artists and works: from Zareh Magar to the underwater photographs of Ergun Çağatay taken in the 1970s; from the work of professionals working in the deep sea technology sector to Bedros Kılıçcan, who was one of the crew of a mini-submarine that went down to a depth of 400 meters; from Orhan Aytür, who was the world champion of underwater photography in 2011, to the photographs of Haluk Cecan; and from prominent businessmen such as Emre Omur, Mustafa Koç, and Cem Boyner to faculty members.

Underwater photography in Turkey

On Aug. 19, 1839, the French Academy of Sciences announced to the world that Louis-Jacques Mande Daguerre had invented the art of photography. A year after Daguerre’s book was first published, it was translated into Ottoman Turkish.

Although traditional forms of diving in Ottoman territories had a long history dating back to the 1600s, underwater photography in Turkey got off to a comparatively late start in the 1950s. Two dedicated figures, Divanlı and Kapkın, set a precedent as pioneers of underwater photography in Turkey. Thanks to their devotion, artists like them have managed to overcome many of the challenges they faced and develop their own unique styles, and as a result, underwater photography has become quite popular in Turkey and Turkish photographers have garnered world renown as well.

With more than nearly 90 works on display, the exhibition is a testament of the 60-year history of underwater photography in Turkey, tracing the contours of its development to the present day.