I like to visit museum since I was young. But not gonna lie, since the Instagram day I visit museum more often and take some photos for the sake’s of my feeds. But hey, I also take some time to appreciate the work and trying to understand it. Since my moved to Istanbul, every weekend (if I am not lazy) I Googled on what place should I visit. Google came up with so many art museum suggestion. 3 months living in the city, I’ve visited 3 different art museum.
This is the first art museum I visited in Istanbul. I knew this place from an exhibition advertisement poster in the bus stop. It was the advertisement for The 15th Istanbul Biennial. I then Google it and registered for the exhibition. Istanbul Modern was one of the three exhibition venue for the event. I chose to visit Istanbul Modern because it was Turkey’s first museum of modern art.
The museum located near the Tophane tramvay stop. Just about 2 mins walking from there. At first I was confused because there was the sign of the museum but then I had to enter a construction area and a carpark. Turns out it is the right place. Plus, it is located in the edge of the sea, so good view everybody!
First thing first of course the ticket. Since I’ve register in the website for the Istanbul Biennial, so I don’t have to pay for the admission fee. It is free! But regularly the museum set an admission fee for the visitors; regular 25 TL, students & elderly 65 TL, group 20 TL. and if you have Turkey’s residence permit, you can get free admission every Thursday. The museum also every day except Monday.
The 15th Istanbul Biennial theme was “a good neighbour” or “iyi bir komşu” in Turkish. The exhibition takes place in the main floor of the museum. But, it was pretty spacious for every installation. That day was also crowded, but I didn’t find it hard to take pictures or admiring every installation. For someone who admire art but don’t know anything about it, like me, I must say that the Istanbul Biennial was really something. Most of the installation and painting was really exquisite.
On my visit, there was also an exhibition of Ömer Lütfi Akad, a famous Turkish film director. I did watch some of his movie clip there and saw the movie poster, it looked so interesting. Maybe some other time if I have proper internet connection, I will search for the movie in the internet.
There was another exhibition theme “Artist in Their Time” in another floor. But to go inside I have to paid another 20TL, so I decided not to. But looking from the outside, this exhibition collection is really cute with all those edgy colourful installation. There were also library, gift store and a high-design cafe overlooking the Bosphorus.
One day I had this economic seminar in Indonesian Consulate General in Şişli area and it finished after lunch. Since it was downtown area and took some time from my dorm, I decided to go somewhere. I Googled about travel destination in Istanbul and my vision was stuck in this weird red tall building named Borusan Contemporary. It turns out to be a contemporary art museum and was only one bus away from the Consulate General.
I ride the bus until the last stop and then continue by walk. But at first I didn’t trust Google maps because it direct me into this small alley, kind of housing complex. This alley was beautiful, uphill and have this European feeling but I was scared because no one was there, only me walking. But thanks God I saved until I found the main road.
After a long quiet walking, I stumbled upon this seafront. It was really beautiful. Just in front of the Borusan Contemporary Building is a seafront where people are fishing, exercise, or just take a walk. There was also Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge or famously known as Second Bosphorus Bridge in front of the Borusan Contemporary.
The ticket to the museum was only 5TL for students (yay for being a student!). After bought the ticket, I climbed the stairs to the 2nd floor. I was surprised that I went into the office space. Really I thought it was an art installation, but turns out that in weekday the staffs are actually working there. But the office space was filled with another art as well. I really like that this art museum is located in the edge of the sea. From the window, I could see the scenical view of sea and the bridge.
In my opinion there were more art installation in this museum than paintings, which I like. But since some of the exhibition space is actually a work space, so I am a little confused which one is art piece lol. When I visited the exhibition was “Diana Thater: Runaway World”. Through her installation Diana Thater looks at the danger of animal poaching.
During my visit, there were not many people, so I could stare for a long time, take pictures, and go back and forth. The art museum also has an outdoor cafe that really beautiful. I definitely going back to visit another exhibition and have a cup in their cafe.
Just the next weekend after my visit to the Borusan Contemporary, I feel like going to art museum again. I Googled and found Pera Museum that located in Sishane. Then I decided to go using the metro. The stop was Sishane and after I got off the train, I had no idea that Sishane was in Taksim area and the museum is just behind the busy street Istiklal Caddesi.
As a student of course I got discounted again, only 10TL while the others have to pay 20TL. The staff told me to start from the 5th floor, so I did. At the 5th floor the exhibition was “Bana Bak!” or “Look at Me!”.
Most of the works assembled here examine concepts of truth, appearance and representation, besides memory and fiction. Some put the normative canons of portraiture to the test, revealing its ruses and the conventions of society. Painting exposes masks and make-up, whereas photography experiments with the potential of fiction to produce disconcerting effects of reality.
My eyes was stunned at this incredible art installation. It was a big installation take one part of the wall. The installation named “Cabinet Of” by Roni Horn. It was a sequence of 36 hazy images of a clown. The other things that startled me was this two man figures “1962-1929” by Stefan Hablützel. The two figures were actually the portrait of the artist’s father and grandfather. It was scary and stunning at the same time.
Moving back to the 4th floor, I am amazed with the Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work named “Beast”. By the way, I first recognise this piece because I remember something from Urban Decay Cosmetic’s packaging and it was true that the cosmetic line had a collaboration with the artist.
In the 3rd floor, there was this Osman Hamdi Bey works. He was one of the famous painting, archaeology, museology in Turkey. With his works, I feel like I was going back to the Ottoman era where there was still high-monarchy. In the other side of the floor, some of the late Ottoman era paintings are also shown. It is fascinating to read all the paintings description about that era.
I really enjoyed this art museum visit in Istanbul. Not only I can took many good pictures, I also can learn about the art and history. There are still many art museum in Istanbul and I will definitely visit it in some other time and updated this post.