Interview by Eva Davidova
images provided by Asya Cetin
Asya Cetin is a Visual Artist based in Istanbul. Her work is full of new-wave energy and feminine charm. She focuses on photography and directing, being born in Istanbul and currently visiting New York I caught her on a brief visit in San Francisco for a cup of coffee…
Her work has been recognized for her compelling vision and vast range of innovative perspectives. Her raw, unusual images of the subjects she gathers all around the world, create a unique and interesting portrayal of people, their surroundings and where fashion is moving towards nowadays.
When I met with Asya in San Francisco she amazed me with her creative outbursts of energy – running off into surrounding vintage shops to forage ideas and looks for her work. She has a vibrant creative vibe to her that reflects into her work in many ways, so I naturally was curious to ask her more…
What sparked your interest in visual arts/photography?
When I was in middle school, I was always interested in looking at fashion magazines, but not specifically for the fashion. I always wondered about how they decided on the editorials, where they were shot, what kind of styling they used… So I discovered I was more interested in production & photography. And I followed that way.
What camera are you shooting with right now?
I am using both digital and large format but now I am more into my large format Mamiya.
What inspires your feminine self?
Like most photographers, I am very much inspired by my subjects. Being a visual artist, I constantly do research, go to new places, explore new people to expand my talent and the people I meet along the way definitely have affects on my life.
“I’m just trying to portray the world that I want to live in through the world that I live in, and form the connection with my work.”
What is your favorite item in your wardrobe right now?
I just bought a new vintage necklace from Dumbo Flea Market, it’s a must, daily piece for me right now.
What is the biggest challenge of being a visual artist?
I’m super lucky ’cause I can make money off of the things that I wanted to do and have dreamed of for years. However in today’s world, technology allows everyone to shoot or direct any visual easily, which is great since I use these products as well, however it gets me thinking: What about the creativity or production aspects of the job? Everyone with a camera is of course, not a photographer. We are all working really hard to build a career, find new ideas, research, and create balance in our works.
What is a song you can’t stop listening to right now?
I am listening to Tash Sultana these days. She helps me so much.
You are a very influential visual artist in Turkey, with a large following – what are some of the things you’ve learning being a cross-culturally working artist?
Although I am very much about expanding boundaries, there are certain areas where you need to abide the rules. I’m very devoted to my artistic freedom however I would never be disrespectful of cultures. Therefore one always has to consider the culture of the place where they are working in.
“Istanbul is a chaotic and inspiring city to grow up in. Growing up in a Middle Eastern Country brings you a lot of mix- culturally. Which has inspired me so much.”
What are some of the things you would like everyone to know about Turkish culture?
Turks are super friendly; you’ll notice immediately that we are all about sharing and we really care for people. Also there is great food! Keep Turkish people around you :)
What message are you trying to convey with your work?
My works are kind of documentative and dreamy. I’m just trying to portray the world that I want to live in through the world that I live in, and form the connection with my work.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in fashion recently?
When I was growing up, it was impossible and quite scary to express opinions on editors or designers or even trends. However now there are many platforms where everyone can have a voice, an input, and a voice to make a difference. Accounts like Diet Prada help youngsters shape the future of fashion, literally.
What are some artists that you enjoy looking at?
One of my best friends and a huge talent Dilara Findikoglu’s latest collection inspired me so much. You should check it out.
Three words that describe your current mood: