Day Night Light – Exhibition for Tepta – Istanbul


This exhibition shows light installations which all together reflect on the natural light atmosphere in the City of Istanbul. The beauty of Istanbul derives from its location in the landscape, situated by the Marmara Sea and Bosphor, the tradition of architecture with its material and the vibrant life in the city. The constantly changing natural light reflected by water, stone and wood or filtered by different weather conditions creates the unique Istanbul atmosphere. It is poetic, calm and exciting and touches our souls.

“It was a fine, warm summer day and from Galata Bridge the green hills of Anatolia shone fair and peaceful under the light-filled sky. Seagulls cried in the wake of the boats, the big and little boats that rode the Bosphor, so divinely blue this day that the heart expanded with happiness in the human breast.”
Irfan Orga describes in his novel “Portrait of a Turkish Family” the deep feelings the city evokes in the morning.

In history architects were the competent designers of light until electrical light brought the competence to electrical engineers who started to just calculate light, instead of seeing it as the integral “soul” of a space. This is what we lighting designers would like to bring together with architects into architecture and urban planning.

How do modern influential architects, designers and artist think about light and how do they enhance spaces with light?
Nine installations give answers, but not as insulated statements. Their pieces are integral parts of one general story:
A journey through time, from morning dusk via the steel-blue noon sky to dawn and night. In the elongate exhibition space of the Istanbul Modern Museum visitors walk through, pass by, enter and sit on the installations of light. The pieces change brightness and color temperature like the sky does during a day.

Modern efficient light sources like LEDs make us forget the natural light which we have in abundance. Natural light is unexcelled and unbeatable in quality and quantity. It governs our lives since beginning of evolution. Especially the blue wavelenghts of white light triggers the circadian rhythm, helps our bodies to be active and to rest. We need bright light and darkness as well. Ever since electric light came into our world, it changed our lives dramatically. We subordinate our lives to work, we even work at night and ignore the needs of our bodies. Medical researchers have showed us that we need enough light (around 2000 lx) to really wake up but also enough darkness to be able to sleep properly. Our current culture of working and staying in dark places affect our health directly.
The trend of nowadays to concentrate cities does not always respect the right to daylight in buildings, double glazed windows increase this effect.
This is the reason why we lighting designers advise clients and architects to bring more natural light into workspaces, hospitals and residential buildings.

Tepta decided to dedicate this exhibition of their 25th anniversary to natural light, even if Tepta’s business is artificial light. I thank Tepta, Robi Ebeoglu to let me curate this show and to give me the opportunity to develop the idea of the exhibition together with the enthusiastic and intelligent Tepta team, led by Özlem Yalim, her spirit and intellect made the exhibition possible. “Project coordinator” is a much too small description of her role!
I thank the Istanbul Modern Museum team supporting our ideas and offering the place for the Day Night Light exhibition.

I thank all architects, designers, artists, authors and the collaborating manufacturers for all their contributions to the exhibition day night light.

Client: Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
Architects: TEPTA Lighting, Istanbul
Curator: Ulrike Brandi
Fertigstellung: 2016/17