The “Istanbul The Lights” project, which has been organized by the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation with the support of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, will be realized from Dec. 7 to Jan. 3.
The project, which aims to transform Istanbul into a giant digital art platform, was launched at an online meeting on Dec. 5 with the participation of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Contemporary Istanbul Foundation CEO Ali Güreli.
Stating that he was very pleased with the cooperation between the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation and the Istanbul Municipality, İmamoğlu said, “I am happy to contribute to a very valuable project that will bring art and light together in Istanbul.”
Stating that he got excited at the time when the project was proposed to him, İmamoğlu said, “I felt that such an event would suit this city, which we know is the leading art center of the world, and we want to achieve this goal altogether.”
“This city has given strong messages to its immediate surroundings and the world throughout history. Istanbul is an important city that has the potential to lead the world not only in the field of culture and arts but also in economy, commerce, philosophy and theology. I feel this project will reveal very valuable traces in every context of the city,” he added.
Noting that the works that will be exhibited in 59 different public spaces and 52 city screens in the city that will be glorifying Istanbul, İmamoğlu said the city would give a message to the world through art during the pandemic process.
Stating that they proposed the “Istanbul The Lights” project to İmamoğlu in August, Güreli said, “As we needed channels throughout Istanbul for our project to reach the city residents, this project would not have been possible without the media and promotional support of the Istanbul Municipality.”
He also noted that the works for the project were initiated at the beginning of November.
Underlining that Istanbul holds an important position in the world as a contemporary metropolis, Güreli stated that ‘Istanbul The Lights’ would be the first light art festival in Istanbul, where light art and digital art would be presented throughout the city.
“We started to think about how we can add color to Istanbul and come up with a project that will give Istanbul residents pleasant moments during these difficult phases [amid pandemic]. We also aim to give positive and hopeful messages to the whole world with the ‘Istanbul The Lights project,’” he said.
Hoping that the year 2021 will help recover the pandemic hit Istanbul and Turkish tourism, he said: “We attach great importance to the project because we believe in the great value of Istanbul. Istanbul became one of the few cities in the world that have stayed active despite the pandemic period. Now we are bringing this magnificent city together with light and art. Art imparts education as well as helps in healing.”
Güreli also mentioned that they would hold the Contemporary Istanbul International Art Fair online between Dec. 19 and Jan. 6, 2021, and the event would physically take place between April 7, 2021, and May 2, 2021.
HH Works to be displayed in 59 spots
As part of the event, works made in the field of digital arts will be exhibited in 59 different parts of the city to give Istanbul residents a different experience for about a month.
Some LED light installations and giant-scale LED sculptures will be positioned brightening the city at various locations, including Maçka Park, Maçka Art Park, Taksim Square, Istanbul Airport (IGA), and the Marmara Taksim Hotel along with several city screens.
The digital videos of 30 new media artists will play on the city screens and giant screens in metros and shopping malls in 52 different spots of the city.
Not only this, people will be getting a chance to experience augmented reality (AR) technology through the works of some 15 artists using their mobile devices as well. Within the scope of the event, there will also be a mapping show, the date of which will be announced later.
The project, which is organized under the roof of the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation, is curated by the foundation’s art and cultural programs director Ayça Okay and plugin curator Esra Özkan.