‘Memorial Forest’, Hakan Kırdar’s second solo exhibition in Istanbul, focuses on the transformation of Kültürpark in İzmir, which used to be an Armenian neighbourhood called “Haynots” before the fire incident in 1922. Kültürpark, also hosts International İzmir Fair, has almost turned into an urban forest in consequence of a republican modernisation project.
The exhibition highlights the demolition effect of fire on the city’s cosmopolite demographic structure which was shaped by different ethnic groups who had been living together peacefully. Traumatic effect of the incident on citizens who shared a common value is also indicated.
The artist aims to emphasize virtues of remembering by not only making an emphatic connection with the impact and sorrow resulted from the fire incident, but also relieve intentions of reforestation efforts.
Hakan Kırdar: Born in 1963, Aydın; he graduated from İzmir Dokuz Eylül University, Fine Arts, Applied Arts department in 1985. He worked as a graphic designer and an art director for long time in İstanbul and İzmir. Between 2000-2013 he worked as a lecturer at Dokuz Eylül University Fine Arts department. He finished his masters in 2006 at the same university with a thesis on “Body Perception, Social Identity and Gender in Contemporary Art Practices”. The artist is one of the co-founders of K2 Artist Initiative, where he conducts exhibitions in national level with participation of young artists. He lives and works in İzmir. Some of his significant exhibitions are "3rd Mardin Biennial", Mardin, 2015, "Crossing Axis", m1886 Art Projects, Ankara, 2015, "Canakkale Biennial: Coordinates 40°9′0″N-26°24′0″E", Depo, Istanbul, 2015, “Triennial of Contemporary Art PortIzmir 3”, Izmir, 2014, "Purely Abstract", Mixer Gallery, Istanbul, 2013, “3rd International Canakkale Biennial”, Canakkale, 2012, “Problematic Landscape”, Outlet Gallery, Istanbul, 2010, “10 years at Kasa”, Kasa Gallery, Istanbul, 2010, “Creative Destruction”, Outlet Gallery, Istanbul, 2009, “The 1st Annual Roaming Biennial Of Tehran”, Hafriyat Gallery, Istanbul, 2008, “Border Line”, Canakkale, 2007, “alis vs. Alis”, Kasa Gallery, Istanbul, 2005, “Not The Top But Itself”, K2 Art Center, Izmir, 2004)