Tulin Kaynak lives in Istanbul where she continue her works, for more than 20 years. An abstract painter, Kaynak’s works have been exhibited in museums as well as in many international and local exhibitions, including New York, Paris, Tokyo, Forli and Venice. Her works are included in various collections. She perpetuates her social responsibility partnership with many organizations, including UNICEF.

Tülin Kaynak’s works contain all the data of abstract art. Her works uniting with lyricism are designed on movement and balance. The multi-layered structure emerging on the surface with the grindings are gaining momentum with the strength of the material, large paintings on the monochrome works. The artist’s intervention is felt in the chiaroscuro balance, the relationship established with each other, the passage of colors in the works that seem to have emerged spontaneously, in an improvisation.

About Tulin Kaynak’s Works

The decision of an artist to produce works may not be very conscious act from the first moment. Although this decision process initially depends on coincidences, it is the effect  of the human nature gradually getting to know himself/herself and gaining the ability to use his/her abilities. For example, it would take a long time for a painter to go one way or another adopting an attitude that reflects his character. This mentioned situation does not surprise people who are close to art and it is easily agreed that this is the normal course of adventure.  As there is almost no artist who can determine his own tendency without experiencing big fluctuations on his way.

Undoubtedly, Tülin Kaynak’s art is not in isolation from this process. In the first steps, she made some experiments in the workshops of painters with different tendencies, became interested in art history and absorbed abstract painting. But there is this: The only thing that does not change in every period of her life, no matter what kind of painting she tries, is her desire to use his freedom to the fullest. In an interview, she even said that Mehmet Güleryüz said something like this to her: “I say you have to be free, you open the window and jump on your head.”

A fondness for freedom that leads to jumping head-on from the window… It is obvious  that Tülin Kaynak has not been able to get rid of this feeling since she started painting. She thinks that certain events, habitual concepts and learned knowledge always put a limit and wants to throw herself out of these boundaries.  Again, in the same interview, she says: “I don’t like borders. Any boundaries even seem like imitation to me. I always adopt the idea of working free and open. Even daily events do not enter my painting, because our minds are full of unsolved issues. And it is obvious that she has discovered this character, which constitutes her own lifestyle, in abstract painting in the full sense.

It is necessary ponder the wisdom of Tülin Kaynak’s phrase  ” Our minds are full of unsolved issues“.

Apparently, this sentence immediately indicates to us a mind that translates  all the facts, habits, calculations of benefit and harm, function and dysfunction, good and bad, right and wrong, and many other definitions, going beyond these and turning to “unfamiliar places”. . So where does a wandering mind move? We cannot give an exact answer to this question.  However, we know this: When the mind freely activates its capabilities, it spreads desire, pleasure, and knowledge to such a wide range that it is impossible to find even a single previously experienced thing there. Therefore, this is a place where intuition expands and judgments are freed from patterns… That, in a nutshell, it is a journey towards the places “our brain cannot solve”, that is, the unknown.

Finally, if we want to say a few words about Tülin Kaynak’s art, it would be appropriate to link her interest in abstract to this curiosity of the unknown. There is no doubt that this interest will increase the desire to open up to an adventure, but thinking beyond this should not be neglected. That is to say: The curiosity to open up to the unknown is to think about the qualities that come from one’s own nature and the desire to get as far as there.

We must remember that the famous sentence from the letters between Vassily Kandinsky, one of the best-known names of abstract painting, and Arnold Schönberg, the creator of atonal music, was: “Deep, to deeper, to further deeper …” To places that have never been experienced … The so called “human” is who he/she can recognize himself/herself or others. Because it can be far beyond the limits.

Emre Zeytinoğlu


All we know about humans and nature may be limited to what they make us experience and feel. The experience and knowledge of what the Human is, arrogantly, far from giving precise definitions; slips into an ambiguous field. Despite the growing influence and clear peremptoriness of mind and science, we cannot avoid our scepticism towards life.  Our senses, mind and also emotions seek ways to establish their own truth from this ambiguous accumulation, to determine a route in life, to establish a lively relationship with the world. The notion we call art is the very place to settle in the intersection of these human factors. When the given world does not provide the necessary power for life, art is the name of the lines of escape to give a new life or a description of the world with a conscious or unconscious force. The colours of the artist Tülin Kaynak invite the viewer to look at the signs of holding on to life in the universe where this feeling of inadequacy appears. Kaynak shows that there may be the possibility of another universe on the surface of the peinture in the encompassing of the rational world and in a time when everything is measured in numerical terms. This universe is, to put it plainly, the universe of lyricism.

The concept of lyric is “expressing personal feelings and the inner world enthusiastically and effectively through inspiration” (Püsküllüoğlu, 1999, p.1055). The flow of the turbulent inner world of the painter to the surface of the peinture through colours is also the expression of pictorial lyrical expression. Tulin Kaynak recalls this forgotten, suppressed, discredited inner world to the surface of the peinture with all its vitality. Completely ignoring perspective, which is a rational method, the artist brings the spiritual states of the person to the fore and breathes into the emotions in the depths of colours. Restricting factors such as the city, building, machine, business world, and the monotony of daily life melt into colours, thus surrender themselves to the power of the inner world. The phenomenon of colour, mediating emotions and thoughts, allows intangible, dark and uncanny states find a place in the painting too. But the artist fights the surface so stubbornly that colour, also in Wolfflin’s words, besides revealing the existence of the work, turns into a basic element that creates the meaning. At this point, Kaynak’s relationship with colour reminds Klee’s views on colour. In one of his speeches, Klee says:“…Colour and me, we are one, colour has taken possession of me, I know that the moment I stop chasing it, it will chase me forever”. The quality results of Tülin Kaynak’s images constructed with vivid and striking colours thus open the door to lyricism. The artist, who gives the feeling that it is impossible to predict how the painting will develop and what it will tell, enables the lyrical expression to reveal itself. For this reason, spontaneous and creative effects can be clearly captured in her paintings.

In his book ‘Eye and Mind, Maurice Merleau-Ponty says, ‘The whole modern history of painting, all its efforts to free itself from illusionism and to gain its essential dimensions, has a metaphysical meaning’. Tülin Kaynak, in fact, presents us with clear pieces of evidence that the ‘perspective’ of modern artists (painters) is not just a ‘physics-optics’ relationship with the world but is an outward perspective. In her paintings, the world is no longer before us through representation. Again, in Ponty’s words, in fact, the painter is born inside her, as if it were the intensification of the apparent and the way to reach her inner self… Therefore, the artist, who moves away from the object and the representation of the given world, starts a journey towards herself by embracing her feelings. 

This lyrical expression painter attaches herself to being the painting itself rather than painting with technical knowledge. She processes the wanderings, pauses, sharp turns, indecisions on the canvas as reflections of her own inner rhythm. Moments that cannot be put into words, undefined restlessness, sudden euphoria; emerge as signs of the multilingualism of the unconscious, of being at war with herself. The painting, in the world of Tülin Kaynak, emerges not as the domain of escaping from oneself or of forgetting oneself; but as an existential opportunity to serve the courage of returning to, knowing, and confronting oneself. 

This lyrical perseverance can only come from a great will to live. The lyrical attitude is an attitude that is conscious of being in this world. She does not feel attached to the rigidity and rationalism of the outside world.  In other words, she exhibits a passive attitude. She acts in the unity of emotion and action. 

This feeling of freedom is absolutely evident in Tülin Kaynak’s canvases. As we mentioned above, she turns the dull ambiguity in life into an advantage. Instantaneous emotions ripple on the surface of the canvas in the form of contrasts and unities. Intense areas of colour that compress each other begin to spread in different tones in sudden bursts. This ever-moving state of matter reveals vibrant and bright bursts of light. In Sartre’s words, the only thing the hundreds and thousands of different things interlocked together do is to set the heart in motion and to wake it up. Or to make you feel that you are in this world. 

Sometimes dense, sometimes loose, sometimes thick and hard, sometimes fluid states of brushes are due to the material’s own desire to reveal something invisible. This is neither an idyllic landscape nor a depiction of a war scene. It is only a moment of emotion that the material effuses itself. All these disintegrations, diffusions, and intensities are the desire to reach a holistic harmony between stains, textures, and nooks.  

In all this intensity, crowd and conflict, the canvas almost melts into a moment of peace. The canvas, which makes almost no reference to the natural world, reaches a mature and serene peace with bold strokes and countless colour elements in all this overlapping amorphous confusion. Colours invite us to life and emotion and imprison us in an endless dream. Removing all the elements of the material world from the canvas, the painter gives access to a space in which we can dream endlessly. As if saying, in Pessoa’s words, “a good dreamer never wants to wake up” 

Wenda Koyuncu

Interview: Sibel Sicimoğlu

Dear Reader, welcome to our interview with Tülin Kaynak, who has been expressing herself with the painting discipline of arts for twenty five years, who is offering to art-lovers to dream and to think, who has taken place in art venues may times in solo and mixed exhibitions.

Welcome again Ms. Tülin, it was very delighted to work with you, a fluent, exciting life, good unique good works which invite to be explored. … Your excitements , sadness, joy and more, between the lines. I will come to this point but let’s start in this manner right now : Wenda Koyuncu has written the below words while she was reading your pictures : “The artist who gives the feeling that it is impossible to predict how the picture would develop and what it would explain beforehand hereby reveals automatically the lyric expression. For this reason, spontaneous and creative effects are able to be caught from your pictures. .” Let’s take the road from this determination, What is the creative art, according to you ? How the creation process works ? As Picasso’ said “is it the creation including intelligence ?”

I believe that; to create means to make something out of nothing. Creative art is to reveal the inexistent through art. However, I wish to tell about my last exhibition named; ‘The depths”: We reveal what we have inside us through art. Is to create ? It is impossible to create something out of nothing, for the human being. I think that the word;” to create” is being used very easily Let’s define it; to reveal what exists, do we? This happens within a specific process . The one forces his brain and reveals what exists inside. Yes, this is a process but the accumulation of years appear. To go down to deep daringly and to take out what is not seen. By revealing what has been lived by using colors and emotions . I believe that, all life experiences take place as knowledge in our genetics. Picasso mention about intelligence . Intelligence is to learn, to utilize from learning, to adapt new situations and the ability to find out new solutions . When talking about intelligence, the learning behavior becomes active, so can we mention creation. ? Is it the creation to utilize information ? Is it the creation to get adapted to new situations and to find our new solutions accordingly ? We, at least on my behalf, have been trying to reveal what we have inside us. With today’s understanding, I believe that creation belongs to universe .

• Okay, let’s say to reveal the existing; you want to be unique and free in this process as well. You have a memory regarding your freedom concept with your teacher Mehmet Güleryüz during your art education. If you wish you can talk about this memory, however ; do you have a request for freedom concept from your fans while they are following your pieces ? Or do this common understanding occur automatically? As a matter of fact, you have opened exhibitions in NY, Paris, Tokyo and even in Pakistan / Lyallpur and you have been appreciated by various types of followers, you have attracted the attention of criticizers, in a manner of speaking you have caught the universal speaking of the art. Let’s discuss this freedom issue?

Our life is limited with traditions, rules, laws and with order .When we consider the freedom as limitlessness , “in my opinion ” this is only possible with abstract art. No obstruction exists in the piece made by abstract art but freedom is available. For instance, I have no name on my paintings. Audience should be left free intellectually It is what he sees on the painting . We have all different structures. Making direction restricts the freedom. I believe that my paintings lead dream and though. Nothing is free as the human’s imagination I like Einstein’ expression: ‘Logic takes you from point A to point B whereas imagination takes you everywhere .’ As there exists logic in our lives adequately, I think breaking such stereotypes by using art is good. Freedom helps you to go deeper.

• In other art branches, for example mosaic art ; you have your pieces. As a matter of fact, I know that there are various people who have seen your pieces without knowing by whom they are
made. Would you talk about this ?

In mosaic, the subject will be determined, later on the construction stage will take place. There is no imitation in my painting and mosaic pieces . I believe there is no inspiration as well. In 2011, my works on mosaic was intensive. But I tried to find and search natural stones in the city. I found very rare mirror master and poured glaze behind colored glass. And I worked with granite . In 2013, I attended International Gaziantep Mosaic Competition and I won the second prize. In 2014, I made 2x 5 meter mosaic wall installation on the main gate of İstanbul Selamiçeşme Freedom Park. Ny piece was opened by the Kadıköy Major and it is still being used. The gate is made by natural stones. I make mosaic pieces upon receiving exclusive orders

• Valuable works , devoted life. I want to know Ms. Tülin, about other works which give meaning to your life. Let’s talk about UNICEF ? Let2s mention your donations, your instant excitements and enthusiasm, let our hearts to be dabbled these nice seeds

I am very sorry for the children who are staying at prison with their mothers. 4 years ago I found the relevant association. Kindergarten was being constructed in the jail. I sent some of my paintings hoping that they may use their imagination freely and considered figurative paintings may make them sad as they have no idea about the real life out of prison. I have my paintings sent to government’s kindergartens with this consideration. I made a painting hanged on the entrance hall of the Çeşme Alper Çizgenakat State Hospital which is 5 meter long .I gave my paintings considering that children therein will feel better. In 2017, I made a personal exhibition in Taksim Cumhuriyet Gallery in favor of UNICEF. I received no fee from the sale of my pictures . This may go on like this indeed it is hard to speak about it for me . It is nice when it is confidential … I have been living by feeling empathy since my childhood.

• May be some young artist will feel better after reading such things, so it worth to be known by people. All right, let’s talk about another issue; art and audience .Do you have any expectation from the audience ? For instance do you expect them to imagine ? Or as replied by the Ceramic Master Prof. Güngör Güner; “ I do expect nothing from the audience in this geography where poverty is dominant” What’s your opinion ? Let’s ask a question in a question; how do you feed your relations with the general art audience in Turkey and with your exclusive collectors ?

I expect my audience to imagine, to give them hope and to experience happy moments this is the best. … There are different personalities audience may either think or imagine…. Imagining is possible by thinking isn’t it ? When we want freedom, the audience should not be conditioned, I believe. Our master’s consideration is correct. Our nation suffers poverty. It is important for the artist to take them out from their general environment. There are pain. I want to create small happy times and to make them enter into a different world even for a while. My relation with art audience and collectors exist through social media and exhibitions . People who are interested with my pieces follow my works in these environments. There exists an effective art order in the world. Various groups are directing it . It is not easy for every artist to get involved in. Painting is my life, hope is with us …

• “Hope is with us ”. Ok, it is not probable to consider the hope as an enemy in our geography. The concept;” hope is the bread of poor” should be overcome, but how. Hope should be able to become a part of action process ; I mean; Finance and time in art , how the artist/ young artist can learn to manage both of them . How he/she can appropriate his/her freedom by controlling both of them respectively. I attach importance on your reply because ; graduating from academy means you’re a candidate for being an artist only, it is long and though process, it requires very equipped infrastructure. Controlling these two factors make their lives easier . Should it be easier ? Why not! Yes, finance and time management in art, what do you want to say MsTülin ?

Controlling finance and time depends on the person’s order of priority. It is unable to find out a total and general formula . It differs according to different characters, It depend what the people waive from for making a work which they love .

•We are coming to the ends of our interview. Two art people Emre Zeytinoğlu and Wenda Koyuncu have used a common definition while they were writing independently from each other Quotations from Kandinsky and Schönberg’s letters ; “to deeper , to deeper,” You seem to face with yourself manfully , you seem to travel through your personality. What do you want to talk about it ?

My travel has not expired yet. It continues. Until the last stop as far as I can go. Thank you. Nice to talking to you .

•Ms Tülin, we completed our interview joyfully. Thank you for allocating time and for replying our questions sincerely