INTERVIEW

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Our Water Painting Artist, from Turkey and one of the most famous artists in the world doing Water Painting, he tells us how has managed to master this art that starts from a very special canvas, water.

When did your vocation for drawing begin? What were your main artistic models in your initial period? And why did you decide on "water painting"?

I started painting in 2000 at High School of Fine Arts in Diyarbakir. Then I graduated with a degree in Traditional Turkish Arts from Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. To be honest, I love painting more than anything, but over time I have come to appreciate the great expressive potential that ebru has, and have always been mesmerized by its magical quality.

Can you briefly explain what the Water Painting technique consists of? How did you learn to master it by becoming a specialist internationally? Why is it so striking and novel today?

Ebru is a very old artistic tradition originating in Central Asia. The word ‘ebru’ is related to the Persian word for ‘cloud’; in Iran it is sometimes referred to as ‘cloud and wind paper’. If you have a chance to observe the process and see the traditional forms, it is quite easy to understand how it got this name.

In general, ebru is the process of applying natural pigments to the surface of water (thickened through the addition of, traditionally, tragacanth gum, though today we often use carrageenan instead), and then manipulating these pigments to form patterns or images (just imagine the designs your barista might make on a cappuccino, for instance) which can then be transferred directly onto a piece of paper. Historically such paper was used in bookbinding and as ornamental framing for other, more important arts (calligraphy, miniature painting, etc.). In fact, this art form has long been known in Europe, where it is known as marbling.

Since pigments applied to the surface of water would spread and become unmanageable, the water must be thickened to the proper viscosity so that the paint can be moved in a controlled way upon the surface. The pigments, on the other hand, must contain the proper ratio of a surfactant (normally ox gall is used for this) to keep the paint afloat and to control or enhance its spreading upon the water’s surface. The surfactant also allows the paint on the water’s surface to be transferred easily onto a solid surface such as paper, silk, wood, etc. It's been 11 years that I've been practicing ebru, so I can say become a specialist is based on the hard work, the passion and the love that you give to your work. For your last question, nowadays, with the progress of the internet and the video art, people start to know more about Ebru. As long as you spend time with Ebru, you see the possibilities and how many areas you can use it. I think that's why it's so novel today.

What possibilities does it offer to resolve the artistic / emotional part of a marketing action, such as an event and to what extent is it customizable?

Mainly it depends on the topic, but for me each event or the video project has it's own dialectics and the final result shapes with them.

That you know, generally brands found me and after the long discussions of what we can create, every time we show up with brand new result. I love to push the limits and see what can I experience this time, in this way all projects has its own uniqueness in artistic and emotional way.

I think that's why brands don't want to stop with the event and they want to continiou to use the images for advertisements.

You have performed at diferents Brand events around the world, is there any event in which you would really like to participate?

Each project had its own great experience, and the reaction of the audience changes for each culture and each country. For me, it is so beautiful to be a part of an interaction like this with the audience.

Beside this, I can share a secret with you about one of my dream projects. I would really like to do an Ebru Art Video or performance which includes a swimming pool instead of the marbling box.

You have had a chance to experience your art in the advertising spot of a South Korean company. What has it meant for you to be a part of this?

South Korean company is literally one of the most innovator companies in Korea. When they contact with me, they told they want to make a collaboration with my innovator attitude on Ebru art.

Frankly speaking, all international business is an education for me, every time I return from a travel I feel improved and inspired. I can say that I am definitely sharing the same feeling with SK.

żCan you give us some details about your next projects?

Next months will be quite busy with some serial performance and events in Asia and concretely in Europe through the Creartys agency.

By the way, at the local, beside the conferences as the Heritage Istanbul, there is government theatre projects. If I'll have time for myself, I would love to continue to do my personal painting and video projects.