Ilhan Koman was considered an artist as much as he was a Scientist, he developed an innovative style that fused both disciplines together to create his works making him “a representative of a universal approach that descends from Leonardo da Vinci.” His works can be found in many museums around the world, but the project that may have been closest to his heart is the very boat that just made it’s way around the Mediterranean, the M/S Hulda. In celebration and honor of the M/S Hulda, her recent journey, and Koman himself, a festival was created (the Hulda Festival) in which modern artists presented their own works of art inspired by Koman’s distinctive approach to creating art.
The final leg of the activities of Hulda Festival is the exhibition "Ä°lhan Koman: Hulda Festival, a Journey into Art and Science" in Plato Art Space in Istanbul which opened on 22 September, 2010. An exhibition which consists of photographs and videos from Hulda’s journey, 10 original sculptures such as Whirlpool and Dervish by Ä°lhan Koman and of course our favorite FLUX video installation by CandaÅ ÅiÅman.
Video Courtesy of Candas Sisman
FLUX is one of our favorites, a piece that is receiving a lot of buzz, is a five-minute digital animation by Candas Sisman commissioned by Plato Art Space. It is clearly influenced by Koman’s own description of his work; “The content I expect to see in a work of art must be part of a chain, the last link of which is always open to welcome the newcomer. Just like concepts of science. All in all, I would like to be able to make the art of 'the enabling link'."
Working in the same vein as Koman and influenced by his sculptures Pi, 3D Moebius, Whirlpool and To Infinity, Flux is a virtual treat for the eye, a red wonder representing the design principles of Koman successfully through a digital medium. The result is hypnotic. Flux is important for these reasons as well as for transforming Koman’s sculptures (the Pi series) into an “impressive spatial experience.”
…”A red circle, which is colored in reference to the red radiators of Ogre, is traced in a morphological transformation which re-interprets the formal approach of Koman’s works. The continuous movement sometimes connotes the formal characteristics of Pi, 3D Moebius, Whirlpool and To Infinity..., as well as the original formal interpretations of the design principles of the works . In Flux, Koman’s design process in the making of the Pi series has been treated as the emerging of a sphere from a two-dimensional circle by the principle of increasing the surface; and that simple direction is re-interpreted in digital medium. Thanks to this, in the digital animation an entirely different form serial that does not resemble Pi yet remaining its design principle can be followed through the flow of a circle to the sphere.”
M/S Hulda and The Hulda Festival
Recently settled into her new home in Istanbul, the 100-year-old M/S Hulda is fresh in from her year long journey at sea in which she visited ten European cities.
After studying in Istanbul and Paris, Koman settled in Stockholm and in 1965 took to renovating the M/S Hulda into a home and working studio for he and his family. Originally a Baltic trader and cargo ship built in Sweden in 1905, the boat’s interior was restored and renovated to fit the needs of his family. The Hulda was docked in Drottningholm Royal Port in Stockholm where the Komans lived for twenty years. During this time the Hulda was officially named as a histotical monument by the Swedish government. Koman had dreams of taking his boat out on the Sea, his close friend Behcet Safa remembers “"His dream was to bring his ship to the Mediterranean.... But he thought that it would be difficult to find eight people for the journey that would take a whole year." And so, the M/S Hulda stayed in Sweden even after Koman’s death in 1986.
That is, until recently.
The boat was once again restored by the Ilan Koman foundation (a large group of scientist, artists, and sponsors of the event) to prepare for the Hulda Festival, a trip that had the boat set out from Sweden in March 2009 and finish in Turkey in November 2010 having sailed a total of 12,000 km. Throughout the festival, the M/S Hulda visited Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bordeaux, Lisbon, Barcelona, Naples, Malta, Thessaloniki, and of course Stockholm and Istanbul.
At the completion of the sail around the Mediterranean, the M/S Hulda permanently docked in Istanbul where it will operate as a traveling culture and science center.
Born in 1921 in Edirne-Turkey, Ilhan Koman studied at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts. After his graduation in 1946 he went to Paris where he worked in lÊ¼Académie Julian and lÊ¼École du Louvre (1947-1950) and opened his first solo exhibition. He produced his first iron works in Istanbul between 1951 and 1958 at the AcademyÊ¼s sculpture department and workshop of which he was the co-founding instructor. In 1958 he was invited to the Brussels World Fair to represent Turkey. In 1959 he moved to Stockholm where he taught at the Swedish School of Arts Crafts and Design, Konstfackskolan, and lived here until his death in 1986.
Ilhan KomanÊ¼s work is influenced not only by artists such as Rodin, Giacometti, Brancusi but also by the principles of scientific disciplines as he has written to art critic Kristian Romare: “The content I expect to see in a work of art must be part of a chain, the last link of which is always open to welcome the newcomer. Just like concepts of science. All in all, I would like to be able to make the art of 'the enabling link'." His work that spans a great variety of innovative materials and methodologies are presently found in the collections of Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museo J. Battle, Montevideo; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; National Museum for Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul; Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), Brussels; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; Santralistanbul and Bogaziçi University, Istanbul. Most of his later works are designed as projects to be actualised in monumental scale.