Nergis AbıyevaFounding Director

Nergis Abıyeva (1991) continues her PhD studies in Art History at Istanbul Technical University. Upon the completion of her undergraduate studies at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSU), Department of Art History and Brera Academy in Milan, Abıyeva received her Master’s degree with her thesis titled “Tiraje Dikmen’s Art and Life” from MSGSU Western Art and Contemporary Art. In 2017, she received a SALT Research Grant for her research on “Tiraje Dikmen in the Context of Painters Who Travelled to Paris in the 1950s”. Between 2015 and 2017, Abıyeva worked as the archive manager for Maçka Art Gallery’s 40th Anniversary projects, contributing to archive exhibitions as well. Between 2017 and 2020, she worked as a researcher at a private collection and at Arter. In 2022, Abıyeva penned a monography titled Çağdaş Resmin Dervişi [The Dervish of Contemporary Painting] on the life and work of artist Murat Sinkil. Her exhibition/book reviews and interviews have been published in Turkish and English in periodicals such as Sanat Dünyamız, Varlık, PRŌTOCOLLUM, Genç Sanat Dergisi, Istanbul Art News, Birikim, Argonotlar, Art Unlimited, Global Art Daily since 2015. She wrote about Tiraje Dikmen and Mihri Rasim for AWARE platform. Among the group exhibitions she curated are “Mental Imaginary Things not Actually Present[1] ” (Summart, 2022), “Another Atlas of Women Artists[2] ” (Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Centre, 2022), “Extraordinary Equivalences, Subtle Similarities[3] ” (Mixer, 2021). In 2023, she curated Gülçin Aksoy’s “Medal of Compassion” (Merdiven Art Space) and Benal Dikmen’s solo exhibitions “Trojan Women” and “Helen’s Double Life” (Troy Museum, Manfred Osman Library). In the same year, she wrote the catalogue texts for Clemens Wolf’s “REMIX-Material Archeology” at Sanatorium and Ekin Saçlıoğlu’s “Fragmented” at artSümer. She also teaches Art Marketing at Yıldız Technical University. In summer 2023, she received a scholarship from Salzburg Academy and participated in the workshop “Taking a position: Art & Writing” organized by Jennifer Higgie.

Advisory Board

Seza Sinanlar Uslu fotoğrafı
Seza Sinanlar UsluArt historian, academic and writer

After graduating from Galatasaray High School, she received her bachelor’s degree from Istanbul University, Department of Art History and his master’s degree from Boğaziçi University, Department of History. She completed his PhD at Istanbul Technical University with her thesis titled “The painting milieu in Pera 1844-1916”. After working as a reporter in the art and culture sections of Yeniyüzyıl and Cumhuriyet newspapers, she taught art history and history at Galatasaray High School for more than ten years. Since 2009, she has been a lecturer at Yıldız Technical University, Department of Art, Art Management Program. Her lectures include courses such as “Cultural Policies”, “Art and Criticism” and “Design and Art”. Having curated various exhibitions at the French Cultural Centre in Istanbul, the Maritime Museum and the Pera Museum, Seza Sinanlar Uslu carries on her academic studies.

Emre Erbirer fotoğrafı
Emre ErbirerCultural manager, program curator and writer

Upon the completion of his bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts Management, he received his master's degree in Marketing Communication at Istanbul Bilgi University. Between 2010 and 2022, he worked at Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Doğuş Broadcasting Group and ATÖLYE in different fields such as communication, community and programming and project management. In 2015, he founded kultur.limited, an independent platform for professionals in the cultural sector. In mid-2022, Emre started freelancing and, in June 2023, founded Espas, a cultural management consultancy company. Emre teaches Marketing in Art at Yeditepe University and his articles on cultural management, cultural politics and popular culture are published in Calling, Cumhuriyet, Gazete Duvar, Istanbul Art News, GQ, T24, Vogue and Zero. Emre is a member of AICA Turkey (International Art[4] Critics Association) as an independent art writer since 2017.

Derin Özken fotoğrafı
Derin ÖzkenArchitect and educator

After graduating from Kadıköy Anatolian High School, he studied architecture at the London Architectural Association (AA) and completed his studies with the Modern Ornament project. He worked at Foster+Partners in London and Tabanlıoğlu architecture offices in Istanbul. He founded Özken Architecture in 2013, carrying out architectural and interior design, project design, project management and construction services in different scale works. His completed projects include offices, residences, hotels, industrial buildings such as shipyards and factories, and places of worship. In addition to office projects, Özken taught project courses at Bahçeşehir University and Medipol University between 2013-2018, and served as the project manager to a project with a budget of 350 million dollars in Kazakhstan in 2020-2021. Özken is a member of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and Turkish Chamber of Architects.

Kültigin Kağan Akbulut fotoğrafı
Kültigin Kağan AkbulutPublisher and writer

A graduate of Boğaziçi University Political Science and International Relations, Akbulut wrote reviews and did interviews[5] for various cinema magazines during his university years. Since 2010, he started writing on contemporary art and contributed to many publications, especially Gazete Duvar and Sanat Dünyamız. Between 2018 and 2020, Akbulut worked as an editor at Susma Platform, which is against censorship and self-censorship in art and media. In 2017, he founded Güncel Sanat Bulletin, one of Turkey’s first journalistic bulletins, and in 2020 he founded Argonotlar Contemporary Art publication. He continues to work as Argonotlar’s founding editor-in-chief.