5 Questions, 1 Artist: Ibrahim Ince

I am Ibrahim Ince, an aspiring artist and researcher from Cyprus in my final year of BA Fine Art with History of Art in University of Leeds. Producing and presenting ideas in visuals for fine art and in essays for art history have often occurred simultaneously and symbiotically, as I have studied diverse disciplines at once from classics to design & technology since high school. In the future, I want to continue balancing this duality through continuing my physical (curating or art-making) and theoretical practices. I have curated and showcased my works in exhibitions like ‘Keep Gazing’, ‘From Us’ and ‘Clump’ in North Britain’s academic institutions and ‘Marks of Anthropocene’ in Cyprus. Currently, I am developing a virtual reality project for Ars Electronica Festival set to occur in September.

  1. How do you define your work?

My artistic processes are intended to capsulise, fragment or erupt archival materials. I position myself as a ‘translator’ of untold stories and aim to reconfigure oral and optic traces under archives’ dust into a new form. Through dissecting my family’s repressed memories – often based on Cyprus’ violent internal conflict – I aim to find a catharsis in them; an artistic representation and resolution of deposited traumas.

I do not necessarily intend for audiences to know the exact background story behind each artefact but rather allow them to able to get the sense of the theme through elemental clues; feeling the artwork’s concept rather than complete understanding.

2. Where/ how/ who do you get inspiration from?

I come from an island exuding a polyphony of colonial histories, which have all left their material remains that can be seen in every contour of Cyprus. Consequently, I have always been inspired by the materialities and the mementoes representing the past. I find cultivation in the micro-histories of Cyprus, that of my ancestors’ experiences who have been subjected to war and loss; anachronistic stories which I only access the hints of from their archives or small talks.

The idea of what an archive could be broadens with the evolution of my practice as, currently, I dissect my own cognitive ‘archives’ – memories; the intra-personal recollections of love and longing.

3. Best career decision you have made to-date?

Perhaps, the best decision I have made in terms of my artistic practice was to initiate an arrangement to experiment in my university’s chemistry lab, specifically to learn ways of producing crystals. This led me to discover unrealised paths of multi-disciplinary thinking, where I started to integrate the facilities and the mediums of sciences into my art production. As my lecturer Dr. Liz Stainforth so aptly puts it, both artistic and scientific approaches can give rise to forms of ‘cultural production’, which feed off each other.

4. If you could have done something differently in your career to date, what would it be?

I want to extend my comfort zone of who has access to my works; to share what I do not just in studio crits or exhibition spaces, but also on social media to open the projects up to the network of a broader digital public. This seems like a fairly simple task, but sharing such delicate concepts like personal and family narrations for everyone to see – not just the people who choose to see, as it would be in a gallery – requires courage.

5. Any advice for young designers / creatives?

As Roland Barthes might utter, do not let ‘the death of the author’ to occur when you are producing the work by blurring your clarity through pondering too much upon what audiences might think. Additionally, I learn as time passes that it is much more stimulating if the spectatorship is not limited to a certain bubble of artists, tutors and curators. Ask disparate people to review your work; anyone from your grandparents, to your friend who is not interested in art; all walks of life will bring unexpected perspectives.

Instagram: @iboince

Portfolio: https://issuu.com/ibrahim.ince/docs/portfolio