Özer Toraman: The Ocean in My Heart

39+ Art Space is excited to host Özer Toraman’s 1st solo exhibition in Singapore, The Ocean in My Heart.

Özer Toraman ( b.1989 ) is a painter living between Istanbul and Berlin. He is known for his unique approach to landscape and portraiture, which sits between the figurative and the imaginary. Using photographs he has taken while travelling the world as inspiration, Toraman creates works that are ‘windows’ to another realm. The artist’s signature use of flat colour planes, combined with meticulously detailed features, shuns fixed meaning and invites viewers to impart personal significance to each scene.

“In this exhibition, I want to encourage introspection and contemplation to the viewer through art. Our inner worlds are complex and diverse, and with visual representation one can develop empathy and a sense of understanding of these worlds, we can embrace the complexity, and beauty, of the human mind.”

The Ocean in My Heart invites viewers into a world where imagined landscapes blend with reality. Strolling figures and idyllic beach scenes become surreal in their isolation, while languid grassy picnics and intimate portraits become untethered to the limits of reality. Through his focus on beach and sea-side scenes, Toraman’s recent series draws on both his own travels and connection with the ocean, as well as the geography of Singapore itself. His palette is particularly fitting in that he opts for pastel hues as an instinctive link to his own childhood memories, with blue being particularly dominant across his works. For Toraman, blue allows him to “dream without limits,” and further positions these vignettes as windows or glimpses into a dreamscape.

Installation view of the exhibition at 39+ Art Space.

The exhibition is on view from 19 January to 22 March 2024.