Painter, visual artist based in Amsterdam
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Okan was born in 1969 as the middle child of a village teacher and midwife in Erzurum. He settled in Bursa with his family before he finished primary school. He graduated from Uludağ University, Faculty of Education, Fine Arts Education Department, Textile Design Department in 1991. During the academy, he also worked as an assistant artist at the Kenan Özdesen - Ismail Üstüncan glass arts workshop.
He won the teaching exam in 1992 and started to work as a vocational teacher in the Textile Department of Erzincan Industry Angel High School. Due to the great Erzincan earthquake that occurred in the same year, he was appointed to Izmir Bornova Mimar Sinan Industry Vocational High School.
He resigned from his job in 1997 and settled in the Netherlands due to his marriage. After a short language training, he worked in various unskilled jobs. Meanwhile, Zaandam voluntarily prepared and carried out the project of making stained glass for the lighting windows of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. He signed another project called "De Jogeren Delen met Kunst" with PLATO for the benefit of Unicef.
He continues his artistic activities in his workshop named "Atelier Okan Akin", which he founded in 2007. He also has a published book called "Marbling Technique, Ebru Tradition". He is married and has two daughters.
Atelier Okan Akin
Officially established in 2006, the workshop first started its activities in neighborhood houses (buurthuis). Later, he learned by chance from a Dutch neighbor that the old shipyard building named NDSM in Amsterdam Noord was taken under protection and would be reserved for artists only. He immediately prepared an application file and applied to the selection commission. His application was immediately accepted and he was given a 96 m2 vacant lot (land) within the complex to hold a workshop. After a 1-year construction phase, the workshop took its current form. The construction of the workshop was completely carried out by the artist himself.
Various courses are given along with artistic works in the workshop, and many activities are also carried out within the framework of the "Art and Idea Club" established within the workshop. It is the mission of the workshop to transfer the high Turkish culture to the new Turkish generations living in the Netherlands and to introduce it to the Dutch.
For more info on the artist visit the artist's page here.