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A Modern Miniaturist: Yakup CEM




by Ozden DURAN


Yakup Cem is one of the worldís leading experts on Persian miniature painting technique and is an academic specialist in Ottoman Arts and Culture. Born in Iran, Cem now lives in Istanbul, Turkey and teaches "traditional" painting styles at the Mimar Sinan University. In recent years, he has become increasingly interested in European academic painting. This current series of work represents a blend of Western Academic and traditional Persian styles of painting. His refined painting techniques and his attention to detail are also reflected in his choice of frames -some of which he has hand-constructed from parts of centuries-old frames and decorative materials. His oil canvas paintings, skillfully beautified by various different elements such as wood, gold, diamonds and ivory were regarded as revolutionary changes in the Turkish art Community. While continuing his innovations, he was invited to all major exhibitions in Turkey including the prestigious IRCICA (Islamic History, Arts and Culture Research Foundation) and KUSAV (Culture and Art Foundation) annual exhibitions.



Yakup Cem: Miniature, 90 cm X 60, 1996

His works was sought after major collectors and inspired many young artists specializing in Islamic arts of miniature and painting. His efforts were recognized and awarded by various foundations and organizations. In 1999, IRCICA presented Cem the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his contributions and devotion to Traditional Turkish Arts.

Inevitably, his unprecedented technique and vision brought him fame in his respective area internationally as well. His was invited to European countries including France and Great Britain. In 1998, his works were featured and sold in the annual exhibition of "Art in Action" in Oxford, London. Later on in 1999, his works were exhibited in Galleries La Fayette in Paris at the special exhibition established to celebrate the "700th Anniversary of the Ottoman Empire." Entering the new millennium, his fame extended to America and he was invited to the annual exhibition of California State University so that young artists would be exposed and benefit from his exceptional skills and technique.

Truly a world artist today, Cem continues to experiment with different elements to bring unique approaches to the world of art. Cem's latest works can be seen in his second exhibition in the United States.

The new exhibition will open on May 15th 2003 at the Turkish Tourism Art Gallery, at the corner of the 1st Avenue and 46th Street, and will be remain until May 31. 2003.

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This exhibition is sponsored by the Consul General of Turkey in New York.

   
This issue is dedicated to the Peace Process of SRI LANKA & prominent Turkish author Yasar KEMAL

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