GUTech students expo to shed light on life in Turkey

The architectural students of GUTech, Muscat are busy putting together an exhibition to be held on Saturday to share with the public their experience of their study tour that focused on architecture of Turkey.

“We went on an amazing trip to Turkey in December 2021. It is not just about browsing around, but it includes workshops, teaching, sketching and so on. The students were so impressed that they wanted to hold an exhibition based on it. The students have been working hard on it,” said Associate Professor in Architecture and Urban Planning, Ercan Agirbas.

The exhibition is expected to be inaugurated at 7pm and will go on until March 19. The event titled Extra Muros Istanbul Exhibition will have sound installation, visual installation, 3 D printed modeling etc. The venue is Matti Sirvio Art Galleria at Jawharat Al Shari complex.

The works by the seventh semester students of Urban Design and Architecture at GUTech will depict visuals emerging between the dense neighbourhoods and high-rise buildings, Mimar Sinan style minarets speckling the skyline. According to the students their long commutes through the metropolis were enriched with views of ancient and contemporary architecture, an odd, yet fitting mix for the city of Istanbul.

“To us, it was a refreshing unfamiliarity. As we toured the city in the initial days of the excursion, we were blown away by the complexity of it. Different spaces have been formed as consequences of Turkey’s history, each niche in the urban space having a unique atmosphere,” students said.

“Art is an intrinsic part of Turkish culture. This was evident to us as we found it in elaborate palaces while also being incorporated into common places and items. This bound to the arts shows how the creation of it was viewed by Turkish people as the preservation of the soul and praise to the beauty bestowed by God on earth.

“Decorative arts, which are arts that focus on producing objects both beautiful and functional, are the most popular in Turkish culture. Ceramics, mosaics and textile arts are only a few of the many arts that we came across. All of which lay between the categories of craft and art,” the students point out.

The students also had the opportunity to explore the distinction between a practice such as making mosaics and Ebru art, also known as “paper marbling”. One is based on either a grid or geometric shapes, the other cannot be constricted to a system.

“We had the unique opportunity to learn the basics of Ebru art and the chance to create a couple of paintings through the guidance of the expert artists in Sanat Hane studio, Located in Beyoğlu in Istanbul,” they noted.

The students were also intrigued by the different means of transport and how they are proficiently connected to provide multiple routes.

“We travelled through sea by ferries, across the mainland using buses, modern trams and even taxis. We were able to go underground to take the Metro and have been lucky to go above the ground with cable cars. A variety of options are available within the city,” they reflected.

“Most of us were complete strangers in the Turkish food territory, while a few were hoping to find dishes they had in previous trips to Turkey. Split opinions are what remained after our first feast and lots of salad plates. A dish to keep you warm is what we seek on such a cold windy night. Hence, all the traditional soup and freshly made divine bread was cleared in a blink.”

These are the experiences students want to share through their exhibition.

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