curated theme


Through the lens of Turkish visual culture

How do different generations of Turkish image-makers give shape to the worlds they live in? With shared heritage as the starting point, multi-year project Kısmet explores the complex and rich perspectives of Turkish visual culture. Initiated by the longstanding cultural, diplomatic and economical connections between Turkey and the Netherlands, Kısmet was created by artist Ahmet Polat and further developed with Foam.
Dad And Omani Friends, November 2018 © Olgaç Bozalp.
After Anahit, 2023 © Ece Gökalp, courtesy of the artist.

In Kısmet, we explore the diverse and elaborate aspects of Turkish visual culture, as seen through the lens of different artists. From the historically renowned photojournalist Ara Güler, known for his striking black and white street photography, to contemporary image-makers such as Olgaç Bozalp and Ece Gökalp. We particularly offer space for a diversity of new, present-day perspectives, through the works of other emerging artists like Oğulcan Arslan, Alp Peker, Kıvılcım S. Güngörün and Cansu Yıldıran.

This curated theme dedicated to Kısmet is the digital meeting point of a wide variety of physical and digital content connected to the topic: from (online) exhibitions showing work of these artists to articles and podcasts, responding and reflecting on the thematics.

Step into Kısmet and explore its rich visual landscape. 

Now Online:
Digital Exhibition
Kısmet: New Perspectives

In the online group exhibition Kısmet: New Perspectives. Four Contemporary Image-makers from Turkey, we give a snapshot of the emerging community of contemporary image-makers from Turkey. Here, we present the work of four talented visual artists, born after 1990, whose voices will shape the vast visual landscape in Turkey, and beyond, in the upcoming years.

The online exhibition features work by Oğulcan Arslan, Alp Peker, Kıvılcım S. Güngörün and Cansu Yıldıran.

Visit here
Online Exhibition - Kismet: New Perspectives. Four Contemporary Image-makers from Turkey © Foam. Images courtesy of the artists

A Closer Look at the Works of Kısmet

Foam invited several professionals from the cultural and photographic field, with a connection to visual culture from Turkey, to respond to the Kısmet exhibitions. Each writer selected one image—from one of the exhibitions within the Kısmet project—and wrote a personal reflection.

The resulting articles give an intimate and personal insight into the diverse works and their context—inviting the reader to look closer.


Current exhibitions


Dad on his search for Hüseyin

by Olgaç Bozalp

During a father-son holiday in 2016, visual artist Olgaç Bozalp discovered his father's hidden talent for entertaining and effortless interaction with locals. The humorous manner with which Hüseyin approached unfamiliar places and people inspired Olgaç Bozalp to turn his camera to his father.

The result is a heartwarming, funny, and colourful series of holiday snapshots—ones that you could find in a family photo album—always starring Hüseyin as the main character.

Dad on his search for Hüseyin was exhibited as an outdoor installation at Galerie Mercatorplein in Amsterdam (NL) until 17 July.

read more
Dad and his Indian Friends, April 2017 © Olgaç Bozalp.
Tophane, Istanbul, 1958 © Ara Güler Museum, courtesy of Ara Güler.
The Golden Horn, Istanbul © Ara Güler Museum, courtesy of Ara Güler.


past exhibitions

black and white image of a bust

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