The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will present Contemporary Blue-and-White: Turkish Ceramics by Mehmet Gürsoy and Nida Olçar from June 1 to August 19, 2018. Contemporary Blue-and-White exhibits forty ceramic works by two award-winning contemporary Turkish potters. Both artists work in a traditional İznik style that makes use of contemporary design elements. Mehmet Gürsoy was recognised as a UNESCO Living Human Treasure in 2010, while Nida Olçar, a much younger artist, has continued the renowned workshop and ceramic style of her late father Sıtkı Olçar, who received the same prestigious UNESCO award in 2008.
İznik pottery is named after the town of İznik, where these finely decorated ceramics have been manufactured since the last quarter of the 15th century. Local craftsmen developed simple earthenware pottery into a more sophisticated manufacture of high-quality ceramics painted with cobalt blue patterns and coated with a colourless glaze.
This modern form of production developed under the patronage of the Ottoman court in Istanbul, which traded with China and greatly valued Chinese blue-and-white porcelain. Consequently, the iconography of İznik ceramics combined traditional Ottoman arabesque patterns with Chinese motifs. Today, contemporary artists remain true to traditional design sources by creating objects that relate to cultural exchanges from the time of the Ming dynasty.
About the exhibition
Dates: June 1 – August 19, 2018
Venue: The University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong (HKU)
Courtesy of the artists and the University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong (HKU).