Istanbul Modern celebrates its 10th year with “Rainbow”

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Istanbul Modern, the first private museum of modern art in Turkey hosts modern and contemporary art exhibitions, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its foundation in 2014.

Istanbul Modern ushered in the New Year with Sarkis’ work entitled “Rainbow”. Starting on the night of December 31, 2013, Sarkis’ installation “Rainbow” continuously illuminates Istanbul Modern’s front façade with its dazzling colors.

Since the day it opened, Istanbul Modern has hosted different branches of the arts and has received over 5 million visitors. For its 10th anniversary events, by organizing various contemporary, creative, and lasting programs which foster active participation, the museum will continue to be a versatile platform for communication where everyday life meets art.


The first of a series of events that will take place throughout the year, the installation “Rainbow” was produced in neon and measures 7.5 meters in height and 15 meters in width. Showing a rainbow in the process of forming, the installation “Rainbow” will illuminate art and museum visitors for 365 days. “Rainbow” reminds us of the states of becoming of art as a never-ending field of thought and action. It symbolizes the endless rhythm, excitement, and joys of life.

Sarkis defines his installation as a “rainbow gaining momentum toward the Big Bang” and adds: “Rainbow should be regarded as a miracle. Art is always about new beginnings; there are references, but in the process of creating, all of these references disappear, giving way to fresh ideas.”

Chief Curator of Istanbul Modern Levent Çalıkoğlu stresses that Sarkis identifies the work of art with the rainbow’s process of coming into being. About the installation “Rainbow,” Çalıkoğlu says: “In his works, Sarkis treats of the concepts of memory, cross-cultural interactions, and history; his work “Rainbow” makes reference to the state of becoming of a natural phenomenon which visually impresses people. Sarkis constructs a parallel relationship between a miracle of nature and the excitement and uncertainties felt at the moment an artistic idea is born. How is an idea born, how does it develop, and what does it result in? Sarkis identifies the work of art with the rainbow’s process of coming into being. For us, this project, realized as we enter our 10th year, also refers to the different disciplines of art we host in our museum.”

Within the scope of the project, a documentary was produced showing the making-of and production technique of the installation “Rainbow”.

Istanbul Modern also invites visitors to take photos under the “Rainbow” and share them on social media channels with the hashtag #undertherainbow. Photos shared by visitors and sent to Istanbul Modern will be gathered in a special album on Facebook.


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