Ceramics Art and Perception, 2003 Issue 54


A review by Sitki M. Erinc

I believe that art and art related activities are the only way to provide a breath of fresh air for those suffering from the recent years of socio-economic turmoil in Turkey. Art reflects on humanity as its subject. In recent times, where people’s morale is low, art and artistic activities give a boost to the human spirit.

A successful exhibition has the same function as reading a good book or listening to music in order to gives us inner peace and harmony. Latest proof to this fact was Kemal Uludag’s ceramic exhibition at Boyut Gallery, in Ankara.

Having observed Uludag’s works step by step his development and transformation, noticing with appreciation how his works have become clearer, purer, and able to tap into the non-figurative academic abstract, he has kneaded detail-free substance with emotions.

On one series called “Human Buildings”, some human figures are alone, or in family surroundings, and some are little humans. Each one stands upright, dignified and graceful.

Humans are transformed into a standard form by the law of the society, yet as member of a society it is unavoidable that it makes you an individual. This group of works shows that an individual person stays as a phenomenon; these compositions create not only an aesthetic value but also self-identification and self-reliance in which we find the artist’s success.

The “Human Building” works embrace the viewer with human emotions. The tallest of them is only 25-30 cm high but we understand from these works that size is not the issue for the communication that good artwork provides.

“Cog-wheel on Plane” is a wall relief about 90 cm in diameter. The human figures are in a circle of unity as if they were an emblem of solidarity.

The second part of the exhibition consisted of “Tablets” which are made in the raku technique. “Human Buildings” are stoneware matt glazes. Kemal Uludag has successfully realised both difficult techniques of ceramics.

“Tablet” works are contemporary yet at the same time reflect the cultural inheritance of human character that was created by the Anatolian civilisations. Some tablets contain human figures. Some, in spite of their labyrinth-like surroundings, were able to prove themselves as dominant. Some seems as if they were lost in ‘no-through’ roads.

Kemal Uludag with his individual style has proved whit this exhibition that his ceramics need not only be about functional ware but also draw attention to his non-functional artistic expression.

Translated by Tamris Ustun