Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM)

Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM), a major new museum designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates, will open in Eskişehir, a university town in the northwest of Turkey, in 7 September 2019. Founded by Erol Tabanca, an art collector and businessman, OMM will welcome international audiences to discover its significant collection of modern and contemporary art spanning the 1950s to the present day.

With its distinctive stacked timber design by Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA), the 4,500m2 building draws inspiration from Odunpazari’s traditional Ottoman wooden cantilevered houses that are synonymous with the district, and pays homage to the town’s history as a thriving wood market. Along with several other city museums in the surrounding area, OMM will create a museum square and public meeting place in the town.

OMM, courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA)
OMM, courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA)

Split over three floors, visitors will journey through a variety of exhibition spaces, with the large spaces at ground level echoing the rhythm and scale of the surrounding townscape, and the smaller rooms on the upper levels providing a home for smaller-scale artworks. At the centre, a skylit atrium will allow natural light to permeate throughout the building.

Kengo Kuma, Founder, and Yuki Ikeguchi, Partner leading the project, of Kengo Kuma and Associates, said : “At the heart of this project was a desire to create a link between people and art. We wanted the building to carry the history and memory of the town, to resonate both on a human scale and with the unique streetscape of Odunpazari, which passing through is a special experience in itself. We very much look forward to seeing the public enjoy and interact with the building.”

“We are delighted to announce that the museum will open in June and look forward to opening our doors” , said Erol Tabanca, founder of OMM. “ It is my privilege to give this museum and open up the collection to visitors all over the world to enjoy. OMM will stand as a new landmark that reconnects the town with its history, and as a progressive cultural development for Eskişehir and the Central Anatolian region at large .”

OMM, courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA)
OMM, courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA)

Curated by Turkish curator, Haldun Dostoğlu, the museum’s inaugural exhibition will showcase a selection of around 200 works by 60 leading acclaimed artists from Turkey including Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Canan Tolon, Erol Akyavaş, İlhan Koman, Ramazan Bayrakoğlu, Sinan Demirtaş and Tayfun Erdoğmuş. The exhibition will continue up to the present day with a new site-specific commission by Japanese bamboo artist, Tanabe Chikuunsai IV. His intricate installation, crafted from woven bamboo, will interact with and complement the architecture of the building.

Erol Akyavaş - Kartaca Yıkılmalı, 1981, tuval üzerine karışık teknik. Fotoğraf Kayhan Kaygusuz
Erol Akyavaş – Kartaca Yıkılmalı, 1981, mixed media on canvas. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz

Curator, Haldun Dostoğlu, said: “When curating OMM’s inaugural exhibition, I was inspired by three truths: Eskisehir will gain its first modern art museum, Erol Tabanca will fulfil his dream of sharing his art collection with the public, and this wonderful collection – much of which has been behind closed doors for a number of years – will be showcased in its entirety for the first time.”

The collection has been brought together by Erol Tabanca over a period of 15 years and features more than a thousand works of art spanning the 1950s to the present day, championing pioneering twentieth-century figures as well as the next generation of contemporary artists. The collection features works by acclaimed artists from Turkey such as Burhan Doğançay, Canan Tolon, Azade Köker, Nejad Melih Devrim, Erol Akyavaş, Haluk Akakçe, Taner Ceylan, İnci Eviner, Gülsün Karamustafa and Erdağ Aksel, alongside international names including Peter Zimmerman, Jaume Plensa, Marc Quinn, Robert Longo, Aron Demetz, Julian Opie, Sarah Morris, Stephan Kaluza, Hans Op De Beeck, Massimo Giannoni, Seon Ghi Bahk, Alfred Haberpointner.

İlhan Koman - Derviş Ahşap 1970. Fotoğraf: Kayhan Kaygusuz
İlhan Koman – Derviş Ahşap 1970. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz

OMM’s multidisciplinary exhibitions – many of which will be produced in collaboration with leading curators and creatives – and permanent galleries will be complemented by a dynamic public programme, offering seminars, artist talks and workshops.

Erol Tabanca

Erol Tabanca is the founder of Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM), Chairperson of Polimeks Holding, and an art collector who champions both Turkish and international artists. His significant collection of modern and contemporary art will be showcased in the Odunpazarı Modern Museum in Eskişehir, opening in 2019.

As the Chairman of Polimeks Holding, a Turkish construction company based in Istanbul, Tabanca has over 35 years’ experience as an architect and a contractor, working as lead architect for numerous conceptual design projects in addition to his senior management responsibilities. Polimeks is one of the world’s leading corporations in building and culture, with a global portfolio that reflects their work across different fields including real-estate, tourism and energy. Recognised internationally for its architecture and engineering works, Polimeks has carried out over 134 projects in Turkey and abroad. Polimeks is also one of the major supporters of contemporary art in Turkey.

Erol Tabanca graduated from the Department of Architecture at Ankara State Engineering and Architecture Academy after completing his studies at the Art Institute in Eskişehir.

Erol Tabanca. Fotoğraf: Mustafa Özkök
Erol Tabanca. Photo: Mustafa Özkök

Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM)

OMM is a modern and contemporary art museum founded by collector, Erol Tabanca, in Eskisehir, northwest Turkey. Designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA), the museum presents a dynamic programme of multidisciplinary exhibitions and diverse public programming. The museum’s permanent collection comprises over a thousand works of art spanning from the 1950s to the present day, with an emphasis on artists from Turkey.

Kengo Kuma and Associates

Founded in Japan in 1990, Kengo Kuma and Associates has offices in Tokyo, and in Paris, which are engaging in a wide range of design disciplines from furniture and product design to Architecture and Urban Planning. The practice has completed several noteworthy projects around the world including the V&A at Dundee in Scotland, EPFL’s Artlab in Switzerland, and is currently developing the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Denmark and, The Darling Exchange, a civic center in the Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV (b. 1973, Sakai City Osaka) was born into one of Japan’s most prestigious bamboo families. One of the most talented and versatile bamboo artists of his generation, he has carried on the Tanabe family tradition in the wake of the death of his father, Tanabe Chikuunsai III (1940–2014). He earned a degree in sculpture from the Tokyo University of the Arts and trained in bamboo crafts at an occupational school in Beppu. He is active in Japan and internationally, exhibiting in the USA, UK, New Zealand, Switzerland, and France. His work is in the collection of the Museum Fine Art of Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the British M useum, Guimet Museum, Quai Branly Museum and th e V&A Museum.

Odunpazarı ve Eskişehir

OMM is located in the town of Odunpazari – the heart of the unique city of Eskişehir. Named after the historical timber market it once hosted, Odunpazari (meaning ‘wood market’) is Eskişehir’s oldest area of settlement, dating back to the Seljuk and Ottoman period, and is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Odunpazari is best known for it narrow meandering streets and traditional wooden houses. It is home to the Complex of City Museums comprising the Museum of Modern Glass Art, the Museum of the History of the Republic and the Eskişehir Wax Museum, as well as an array of boutique hotels, artisan shops and restaurants.

Eskişehir is a university city in north west Turkey, situated between Istanbul and Ankara. Located between east and west, on the banks of the Porsuk River, Eskişehir inherits the ancient civilisations of Phrygia and the Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Empires, encapsulating Anatolia’s rich past in the present. Today, with its numerous museums, two city parks, cultural events and festivals, young student population and scenic river, Eskişehir is a living city. Eskişehir is widely considered to be Anatolia’s capital of culture, thanks to its cultural heritage, young and dynamic population and progressive outlook, and in 2013, Eskişehir was designated Culture and Arts Capital of the Turkic

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