Hikmet Çetinkaya

Hikmet Çetinkaya Biography

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Hikmet Çetinkaya was born in 1958 in Turkey. Çetinkaya embarked on his professional artistic voyage after graduating from the Department of Painting at the Faculty of Education in Gazi University, Ankara in 1982. This marked the start of a remarkable career that would propel him right onto the global art stage. With over 47 years devoted to his craft, Cetinkaya created more than 30,000 artworks.

In 2002, Çetinkaya’s artistic vision found a new dimension as he established his own art house in the heart of Paris, France. He maintained ateliers in Toronto, Canada and Ankara, Turkey further solidifying his international footprint. Not limiting himself to the walls of his studios, Çetinkaya graced stages worldwide as he engaged in live performances and conducted workshops in diverse locations such as Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Taiwan and Australia.

Çetinkaya’s legacy is also etched in prestigious projects that bear his distinctive touch. Notably is an 18-meter-long masterpiece that adorns the walls of the Izmir airport and his artistic presence within many Turkish embassies scattered across the globe.

For more than two decades, the poppy has been threaded through Çetinkaya’s creations. To him, the poppy symbolizes the delicate yet enchanting beauty of existence, encapsulating both the fragility and allure of life’s journey.

“A poppy is like a human lifespan. It has a yesterday, it has lived a life. It has a present, it is alive. But tomorrow is uncertain, perhaps there is no tomorrow.

Everything is today, the ‘moment’ we are in. We should enjoy breathing, eating, walking, seeing, waking up after a peaceful sleep. Because there is no guarantee that we will be able to experience all these pleasures again tomorrow.

When we lose an organ, a loved one, or an object for any reason, we realize its value. The important thing is that while we have it we appreciate it.

What was the last meal we ate? What was the last piece of clothing we wore? And who was the last person we looked at? What if we could be aware of the moment we are living and the richness we have in this life before the end comes!

For me, a poppy represents caring.

It is about not forgetting, it is about love, it is about remembering, it is about faithfulness.”

-Hikemet Çetinkaya

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