Paper-cut art explores human impact on nature at Anna Laudel

Istanbul’s Anna Laudel Gallery has opened a new exhibition by artist Halil Vurucuoğlu exploring nature, the environment and the human impact on both. “Both Existing and Non Existent” features works that Vurucuoğlu produced through paper cutting techniques he mastered over the years and a new technique he developed by tearing layers of paper.

Welcoming art lovers to its new building in Gümüşsuyu district from September 2021, Anna Laudel continues to host extensive exhibitions where Turkish and international artists exhibit their works and also represents its artists at international art fairs . Vurucuoğlu, who has held a total of eight solo exhibitions in Istanbul and Bremen so far, has participated in many important art fairs and group exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. Based in Istanbul, the artist defines his painting process as a mental and physical activity that grows and develops through articulated layers. The visual language of his works focuses on social phenomena, misinformation, the subconscious, the human as a combination of matter and meanings, and personal issues. The interaction between these themes takes on new dimensions in the artist’s works.

Halil Vurucuoğlu, “SSS III”, watercolor on hand-cut paper. (Courtesy of Anna Laudel)

Vurucuoğlu bases his latest solo exhibition at Anna Laudel on Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s idea that the boundaries of humanity’s freedom are embodied in the global warming of the Anthropocene, the geological era in which we live. He presents the ecological crisis as one of the most crucial problems of humanity, both locally and globally, with his works.

When he reached a point where conventional painting techniques were no longer sufficient in his work, Vurucuoğlu mastered the authentic paper-cut technique after intense research and practice. A pioneer of the technique, he watercolors the paper and cuts it out by hand. This technique, which has never been applied before, creates the core of “Both Existing and Non-Existing”. Based on the fundamental cycle of nature, birth, death and transformation, Vurucuoğlu places the concepts of “creating” and “destroying” at the center and formalizes them by employing the act of tearing, which can also be defined as “destroy by crumbling”. .”

Through this practice, Vurucuoğlu examines the relationship of acts of creation and destruction with consciousness, imagination, culture and ecological balance. It also warns us that we are gradually losing our world and all we have is imagination.

For example, in his installation “Dipsiz Göl” (“Bottomless Lake”), the artist reflects the pain caused by the loss of the 12,000-year-old lake after a team of treasure hunters carried out an authorized excavation for dig up an ancient treasure. in the province of Gümüşhane, in the north of Turkey. Examining the concepts of existence or non-existence with such works, Vurucuoğlu also introduces devotees to forms that recall places on Earth that have likely disappeared or perhaps the tranquility that visitors to those places once felt.

In “Both Existing and Non Existent”, the artist stresses the importance of environmental responsibility and sustainability by also reusing waste paper generated during his production process. The exhibition will continue until April 22.

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