Dear Esteemed Art Lovers,

The only purpose of existence and creation of human, which Allah animated by giving from His own soul, is being a perfect human being (mature person). Because, only mature person may know Allah and realize his/her own nothingness by understanding the greatness of Him in the creatures of Allah.

The Great Sufi Mevlana explained his own life journey as reaching to the nothingness level, and explained the stages of his journey with the expression of “I was immature, suffered and became enlightened.”

In fact, these words explain the journey of human in the world.

Likewise, journey of an artist is for reaching to matureness in art in a way similar to the journey of dervishes. Artist may progress in his/her art with the talents that the Creator bestowed on him/her and only by imitating Him. As s/he progress, s/he accepts his/her nothingness before the Creator, who is the greatest artist.

Meaning, art is an endless journey from immatureness to the suffering, and from suffering to the matureness.

Therefore, search for the climax and perfection in art will continue throughout the journey of human in the universe, and it will always find new courses to flow with new searches and expansions.

However, transition of art and artist from immaturity to suffering and maturity – so to speak- depends on the art and artist to be supported. Because, as long as the artist is supported, s/he can proceed to the next step in his/her art.

In the past, particularly in the 1000-year period (A.D. 600-1600), which is the golden age of Islam, climaxes were forced in art and also in science, and artists reached beyond the ages in every field from architecture to fine arts.

Undoubtedly, personal maturation process of human and maturation process in art has not ended. It continues its progress sometimes with baby steps, and sometimes with big steps.

However, art has to become widespread for the superior feelings reaching to the other segments of the society. This can be achieved if the society internalizes art in artworks that it may see, access or even use. This may happen in a building, in embroidery on a dress, or on a plate used for dining.

Because, people learn to appreciate refined tastes as long as they see them; and as long as the eye sees, soul may realize the greatness of the divine power.

For that reason, the artist feeling the light on his/her forehead must bring his/her art together with the public. One of the methods of this today is exhibitions.

As Fatih Municipality, we decided to meet the classical art works produced by the masters of today and their modern interpretations with our people in order to contribute to the long maturation journey of people in the Yeditepe Biennial under the auspices of our President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and with the cooperation of Classical Turkish Arts Foundation. Totally 2725 artworks produced by 670 artists in 119 different projects will be exhibited in 30 different places within the scope of our biennial, which will be held in Fatih for 45 days between the dates of March 31-May 15, under the main title of “Ehl-i Hiref” and sub-titles of “Every Aspect Of A Flower”, “Like A Bird”, “About Istanbul”, “Overflowing From The Place” and “Flawless Repetition”.

Undoubtedly, Yeditepe Biennial, which will bring people from all segments of society together with art, firstly will appeal to our eyes, later to our minds and finally to our hearts. The art reaching to heart will grow there and bring us to our own art journey.

And the journey of human in time and art will proceed from immaturity to suffering and from suffering to nothingness, meaning to the Creator by evolving in each stage.

We hope that you will enrich your journey to become a mature person with art, and take a meaningful step towards your own nothingness by honoring the Yeditepe Biennial with your presence.

With my highest considerations and regards,

Mustafa Demir

Istanbul Deputy

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