courtesy Peres Projects, Berlin

Melike Kara
Backgammon
2016
200.0 x 280.0 cm
acrylic and oil sticks on canvas

Born and raised in Germany, Melike Kara is part of a Kurdish Alevi family forced to flee Turkey because of the persecution of their culture. Having studied in Dusseldorf due to her background, Kara’s work questions how identities are constructed by the spaces our bodies inhabit and the history we carry within them. She depicts people involved in social activities with colors restricted two to three in a well balanced manner. Figures in her paintings however are deprived of their physical traits. Neither cannot be identified their behaviors, which makes it open for spectators to interpret who they are and what they are doing.

This work backgammon, a game which originates from Egypt or Middle East titled after “small fight” in Wales, shows her reductive but rich expression of color usage and well balanced composition. In the meantime, at first sight they do not have any reference to gender, age or culture, or relations among people depicted. It seems that she throws a question of what defines our identity from the multiple perspectives.

(Commentary & Translation:Tomoya Iwata)