SITUATE / March to June 2018 at Gurodong Studio, Seoul, South Korea.
Through the medium of drawing, Bakhtyar Kaftan reveals his concerns about current and past humanitarian issues such as war, destruction and human rights. His project aims to explore the self and its responsibility to human survival and human rights; specifically, the right to live in peace and freedom. For Kaftan, the existence of suffering, repression and destruction leads to will, resistance, progression and ultimately, survival.
As the recipient of the 2018 studio residency award Bakhtyar Kaftan travelled to the Gurodong Studio in Gurodong, Seoul, South Korea. Bakhtyar’s residency concluded with a solo exhibition at the Sangmyung University Gallery, Space Zero Gallery.
Bakhtyar Kaftan (b. Sulaimani, Kurdistan) is an artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Bakhtyar’s work utilises the mediums of painting and drawing to give form to pain, trauma and loss. His sensitive drawings and paintings utilise abstraction, scale, ambiguity and positive and negative space to express his own memories of the trauma he has experienced at home and as a Kurdish refugee. Through meticulous mark-making, repetition and installation devices, Bakhtyar’s aims to give a psychological resonance within the viewer.
Bakhtyar holds a Bachelor of Visual Art from the University of Baghdad, and recently completed a Master of Fine Art at RMIT University. He has held lecturing positions at the University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan; the Fulya Art School, Chorum, Turkey; Open Art (Atolyasi), Chorum, Turkey and was a founding member of the Faculty of Visual Arts and Head of Visual Arts at the University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan. Bakhtyar was also a founding member of the first Visual Art Group in Kurdistan, Group Eight. He has held solo exhibitions at the United Kurdish Association of NSW (2010) and throughout Kurdistan, Turkey and Iraq. Bakhtyar has exhibited in group exhibitions in Australia, Thailand, Holland, Kurdistan, Canada and the United Kingdom.
This award has been generously supported by Jaedon and Meejoung Shin and Sangmyung University (Seoul).