World Bulletin / News Desk
International watercolor artist and president of the International Water Color Society Turkish-Canadian artist Atanur Dogan is currently in Turkey on a visit to promote the art of watercolor within the country.
Beginning his trip in Myanmar, Dogan conducted a number of workshops and began his international tour with attendance at the “Peace and Love: East and West”, an international showcase of watercolor artists around the world. Twenty-five artists from Myanmar, Turkey, Hong Kong, France, China, Guatemala and more displayed work at a new exhibition that began on May 7 through to May 11.
During the exhibition, Dogan displayed works which has struck a strong chord with thousands of people around the world. One work is a watercolour portrait of the country’s prime minister, Aung San Suu Kyi. Another, simply titled “Refugees” has touched on the global refugee crisis. Myanmar has been accused of crimes in Rakhine State with many government troops torturing Rohingya Muslims, torching their villages, forcing thousands to leave their homeland to seek refuge in Bangladesh. Thousands are undocumented and stateless.
“I painted “Refugees” when the Syrian refugee crisis began three years ago,” he said. “The ongoing crisis hit me very deeply.”
Beginning his Turkish leg of the tour in Turkey on May 18, Dogan first visited the township of Arapgir in Malatya province. Here he held a open air workshop in conjunction with the Euphrates University in the historical town that is located on the ancient Silk Road. The Arapgir workshops were followed with similar workshops in Torbali, Izmir, as well as a live demonstration that was also part of a local exhibition. This was attended by a large number of both professional and amateur artists, and will be open to visitors at the Municipal Cultural Center for 15 days.
One of the highlights of his tour was an unplanned but equally exciting trip to the historical township of Yalova, which is straddled between the two great Ottoman cities of Istanbul and Bursa. Dogan gave a live demonstration of his watercolour techniques at the local Public Education centre, the first of its kind for the city. This was attended by local art students of Tuba Karaahmetoglu, the art teacher at the centre who also organized the visit to the city for the artist.
Atanur Dogan and his wife Asuman – a watercolor artist in her own right – reside in Ottawa. Both artists have held exhibits throughout Turkey and in Zurich, Paris, London, as well as in Taiwan and Japan. In North America, their work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle; Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, and numerous showings in Vancouver. In 2004, the Portrait Society of Canada selected Atanur Dogan deemed one of five best portrait artists in the world.
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