The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, October 21, 2021


Contemporary Istanbul moves to historic new location
Halic Shipyard, ©Tabanlioglu Architects.



ISTANBUL.- Contemporary Istanbul, Turkey’s leading art fair and the first international art event since the city went into lockdown, presents its 16th edition in a significant new location: the Tersane Istanbul, from 7–10 October 2021. The fair will bring contemporary art to one of Istanbul’s most important heritage sites, following a major regeneration project to breathe new life into the historic Halic Shipyard and the Golden Horn district.

Launching the city’s autumn art season, Contemporary Istanbul will bring together galleries from around the world to highlight the dynamic contemporary art scene that has risen out of Istanbul in recent decades.

Tersane Istanbul, new venue at historical shipyard

The Tersane Istanbul, the world’s oldest shipyard and an icon of Istanbul’s coastline for over 500 years, will be the setting for the 16th Contemporary Istanbul. The fair will take place across an area of 9500 m2 inside the Shipyard buildings, formerly inaccessible to the public, with an additional 3000 m2 outdoor space on the waterfront.

Contemporary Istanbul’s visitors will be some of the very first people to step foot inside the highly-anticipated Tersane Istanbul redevelopment by renowned Turkish architects Tabanlioglu Architects, which has already received international acclaim in the “Future Projects” category of the World Architecture Festival Awards 2019. Known for producing globally relevant, contemporary architecture in Turkey and around the world, Tabanlioglu Architects are also leading on the design of Istanbul’s new Ataturk Cultural Centre (AKM), set to open on 29 October 2021.




The Halic Shipyard development is part of the Tersane Masterplan which aims to transform the Golden Horn, a neglected area of coastline that was once the centre of the Ottoman naval trade, into a thriving new cultural destination. In addition to Contemporary Istanbul, the Tersane Istanbul will house the Vehbi Koç Foundation’s new Sadberk Hanim Museum (2024), relocating from its current home on the Bosphorus to a building designed by Grimshaw Architects and the Women’s Museum (2023), celebrating women’s role in strengthening the fabric of the society. By means of cultural regeneration, the Golden Horn will reclaim its prestigious past to become a vigorous extension of the city once again.

Istanbul is experiencing something of a renaissance, with major cultural investment across the city aiming to boost tourism and assert its position as a world leading capital of culture. Alongside flagship project Tersane İstanbul, Galataport (Opening in September 2021), will host the best examples of art and architecture in Turkey, with the Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum by Emre Arolat Architects and the new Istanbul Modern Museum by the master of museum design, Renzo Piano. Together with the Ataturk Cultural Centre (AKM), will form a new route coined as ‘Beyoğlu Culture Road’ that will connect many of the city’s most important cultural sites.

“Contemporary Istanbul’s relocation to the Halic Shipyard represents an exciting new era for the fair and we’re looking forward to introducing artists, exhibitors, collectors and art lovers from all over the world to our enhanced offer in a historical venue where art, culture and technology come together” said Ali Gureli, Founder and Chairperson of the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation. “The 15th edition in June, held for the first time with only galleries from Turkey, bolstered the art world after being brought to a standstill due to the pandemic. With a new venue and international exhibitors, the 16th Contemporary Istanbul signals the resilience and renewal of the art world.”

2nd Istanbul the Lights Festival

‘Istanbul the Lights Festival’, Istanbul’s only outdoor light festival, returns for its second edition from 5 October - 15 November 2021. Presented across some of Istanbul’s most iconic historical and cultural sites, a collection of large-scale digital artworks will meet the future with the past and invite people to experience Istanbul like never before. Curated by the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation, the Istanbul the Lights Festival showcases innovative artists and technologically complex artworks in dialogue with a city that is embracing humanist values, science, technology and the arts.

Focus Russia

For its 16th edition, Contemporary Istanbul will have a special curated section showcasing some of the most exciting contemporary artists working in Russia today. Curated by Daria Kravchuk, a Moscow-based curator, art manager and writer, Focus Russia will offer a platform for leading contemporary galleries from Russia to exhibit in Istanbul – a crossroads between the East and West – and aims to forge bonds between the Russian and Turkish art markets.










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