Installation Magazine: What influence has your native Istanbul had on your artistic practice?
Hasan Kale: Istanbul is a city that many artists have tried to explain for centuries, but has always kept its mysticism. That’s the best part. It will always keep its secrecy and continue to be studied and re-invented. My job and my city connect me to life.
When did you first learn that you were able to paint on a miniature scale?
It all started with a challenge. I wanted to test myself and determine how small I could draw a line. Then I began painting, preparing special mixes for each surface. I look for sienna and sepia color tones that are reflective of the mysticism of Istanbul.
What is the greatest challenge about creating compositions on such a small surface?
Sometimes one point or line can change everything.
What have you learned from the experience? Is it meditative? Frustrating?
First: patience. Every object in our lives is essential. I am trying to create new windows to look from, build awareness and new perspectives. I see that I can create a new language and make something interesting for people to talk about. It is about how you look at the world around you. I have produced 200 pieces of micro art and the love I have for this art will continue in my heart.
What do you find most satisfying about your practice?
It is a great accomplishment for me to create a smile in the faces of people whom I don’t know.
What is the most challenging surface to work on?
Every object has its own difficulties, it is hard to explain as butterflies, a fig seed, or a coffee bean are very different materials. The things that can be torn down if handled carelessly, can turn into a work of art with enough patience.
Where do you find your canvases?
I obtain the objects from my daily life. Also my friends and my students bring me new materials.
Your work suggests that any surface can be transformed into a canvas. Do you feel that painting on found objects connects you to your country?
God gave me a good eye, a good hand, and a good heart to create my work. I take pride in presenting my pieces in the best possible way. As a Turkish artist I am proud to paint my country’s symbolic figures in microsurfaces. Everything in life is my canvas. I seek to create a universal language.
All images courtesy of the artist