Truck Drivers Exhibition Open Until 19 April
Mar 31, 2015

İTÜ Rectorate Art Gallery opened its doors to a documentary photograph exhibition this time. “Truck Drivers” exhibition that came into being through 3 years of labour by Photography Artist Altan Bal tells with black and white images the story of those who earn their living on the road and whose lives are built on longing.

The opening of the Truck Drivers exhibition was made on Thursday, 26 March with a reception in İTÜ RAG. Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca, academicians and students, along with Director Yeşim Ustaoğlu with whom Bal worked for some time and many professional and amateur photographers attended the opening.

‘Seeing is a matter of talent’

Rector Prof. Karaca noted that very few works of art in the field of documentary photography are created in Turkey and said that Bal’s work is the product of a quite laborious project. Karaca said, “There is a difference between looking and seeing... Seeing what to photograph is a matter of talent as much as photographing is. In this exhibition you can clearly see that talent,” and remarked that they are also proud that Bal, who works in Corporate Communication Office, is a member of İTÜ family. Karaca noted that Altan Bal owns prestigious awards and said, “He received Yunus Nadi Photograph Award, Kodak Turkey Photograph Contest Professional Category Great Prize and has been selected as Nikon Turkey’s Brand Ambassador only a few days ago. These are not prizes and titles just anybody receives, they are very precious.”

Bal spoke after Karaca and said that his father Fethi Bal, who is a truck driver, and his mother Fatma Bal, who raised him and his brother with great self-sacrifice, had a major influence on both the exhibition and his professional life. Bal said that he is pleased to combine his education in fine arts with documentary photography projects and said that, “Even though it looks like a tiresome and lengthy job, you don’t realize that at the time you are doing it. It neither looks lengthy to you nor do you feel tired.” Bal mentioned the courses he currently teaches at İFSAK and said, “İTÜ has an additional meaning for me. I taught the first photography course here to the photography club through my cousin who was a student in the Faculty of Mechanics. It is one of my most beautiful İTÜ memories, from years ago.”

The exhibition is open until 19 April

After the speeches, Altan Bal gave 3 photographs from the Truck Driver exhibition as presents to Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca, General Secretary Prof. Tayfun Kındap and Prof. Telem Gök Sadıkoğlu, Advisor to the Rector, on behalf of RAG team.

After the presentation of RAG artist plaque to Bal, visitors viewed the exhibition. Art lovers viewed the photographs and fragments from interviews with truck drivers with interest and wrote complimentary reviews in the exhibition logbook.

The exhibition that tells with 71 photographs the story of people who, in Bal’s words, “go on the road to risk their neck and steer the wheel in all kinds of weather” and opened with the support of İFSAK can be visited every day of the week between 8:00-20:00 until 19 April.

About Altan Bal

Altan Bal, born in 1977 in İstanbul, entered Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Photography with a degree and graduated from it with honour. He presented his work focusing on documentary photography in 4 solo and 2 group exhibitions. He created “Bachelor Rooms”, “Paper Pickers” and “Truck Drivers” projects. His work was exhibited in İstanbul Photography Biennale and Ulis International Photography Festival. He won Yunus Nadi Photograph Award in 2000, Kodak Turkey Photograph Contest Professional Category Great Prize in 2002. He was selected as Nikon Turkey’s Brand Ambassador in 2015.