Saturday, June 12, 1999

1999 İstanbul? Yeah!

In 1999, NPP staged the first ever contemporary art exhibition within the Kapalıçarşı - Grand Bazaar in conjunction with Adnan & Hasan of Halicilar Caddesi. NPP painted the pictures, produced the poster, leaflets, brochures and books, all under the title of Istanbul? Yeah!"Like humanity itself, Istanbul is young yet old, vibrant yet decaying, traditional yet unconventional. There are few cities in the world that reflect the untethered human spirit, as does this one. These contrasts make Istanbul alive and fascinating and are embodied by her people. Sometimes it can feel impossible to do anything here, yet anything can seem possible in Istanbul."
Ned Pamphilon 1997
İstanbul? Yeah! @ The Grand Bazaar

İstanbul? Yeah! was officially conceived with this exhibition, opened by Mayor Lütfi Kibiroğlu. NPP consider much of the work produced in Istanbul before and since as very much part of the same on-going concept.

The Kapalicarsi is the largest covered market in Istanbul. Mehmet II originally founded the Bazaar in 1461 to provide traders with a safe and orderly place in which to do their daily business. With 65 streets and approximately 4,000 shops, the Kapalicarsi has withstood fire and earthquake and still remains among the most famous markets in the world. The city itself was the centre of both the Byzantine Empire up to 1453 and then the Ottoman Empire. Renamed "Istanbul not Constantinople", she has remained a strategic East-West crossroads up to and beyond the advent of Ataturk’s Turkish Republic in 1923.

TV, radio, newspapers and magazines covered the exhibition providing a welcome spotlight for the Kapalicarsi and Istanbul. A catchphrase was born as shopkeepers filmed for TV declared 'Istanbul? Yeah!'

Istanbul? Because we are questioning and analysing the city, its location, image,

foundations, people, history and culture; indulging in the city’s romance and adventure; exploring the possibilities and pondering its future.

Yeah! Because Yeah is a definite and positive affirmation in the comic-book style familiar to generations throughout the world. It answers the preceding question with an unequivocal yes! As The Beatles put it: “She loves you, yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”

As Sakip Sabanci (Spokeperson for Sabanci Holding) said:

“Over the years, our nation has achieved a great deal. So what’s next? Just one thing; Global Brands, Global Brands, Global Brands!”

Istanbul? Yeah! lends itself well as a branding tool, using NPP’s images to promote Istanbul and Turkey as bright, vibrant, historical and contemporary; a counterbalance to the negative image the country has sometimes endured.

Ned Pamphilon with Lütfi Kibiroğlu