Her Father’s Gift Tours Europe – Milliyet Pazar

By Sunday May 16th, 2010Press
Hüma Kabakçı is to display in Germany and Hungary the art collection named after her by father who died last year.

Hüma Kabakçı is the owner of a large art collection named after her. She is a 19-year old young woman. This collection is a gift of great value, and great burden from her father who died last year. The collection, former dream of father Nahit Kabakçı, was exhibited last week in Germany. Hüma Kabakçı’s sincere opening speech that was both age-appropriate and far from being pretentious, and her knowledge of the subject were the first signs that she would manage to bring this gift through.

Have you always had a keen interest in art?
I live and breathe art since the day I was born. 10 artists awarded us 10 paintings for my birth. That was how I jumped into my own collection at the moment I was born.

Have you ever thought “How would I manage this collection?” after you’ve lost your father?
Of course I was shocked. You come to your senses eventually. My father always honored me. He named this collection after me. Thereby he demonstrated and announced the extent of his love for me to everyone and to me. Therefore this is a huge honor for me.

This exhibition and the following two exhibitions compose a large-scale project. Have you recognized your great responsibility from the beginning? Had it frightened you?
Surely I felt nervous and anxious at the beginning. But there was no problem, since my father had preserved and insured the paintings well. All paintings have already arrived at Hagen Museum. The works were launched in a way. I began to strive to continue with an already started project. I have both desired, and undertaken this work as my duty.

How many paintings are included within the exhibition?
145. 180, including Ara Güler photographs. Exhibited art works constitute only a piece of the whole collection. There are 500 pieces in total.
“I would not have continued with the business, had I not loved art”

Where do you preserve all these?
Currently they are in Istanbul, at my father’s former office. However, we do need a larger space.

Do you have knowledge on paintings, opening exhibitions? Were you already interested in this subject?
Thanks to my father, I have met with many gallery and museum owners. We had attended auctions. In his last year we had visited Venice Biennial and Sarajevo. He gave me advices to “Do this or do that after I die.” He had always guided me. Back then, I did not want to hear those words, but in a way he did prepare me. He had raised me, but I was at the beginning of the road. I had to improve myself more. I would like to complete my school, study for at least another five years. I intent to attend a contemporary art course in Sotheby’s and have a Curatorial Master’s Degree in New York.

Have you not been bored when they had taken you to exhibitions when you were little?
At first, I was of course slightly bored. But I began to appreciate the importance of this job and the values of art works. Lately, I have always spent time with my dad. Good thing I did. I would not have kept continued with the business, had I not loved art.

Would you mind telling a pleasant memory with your father?
Last year my father kept going beyond the limits at a Sotheby’s auction. I kept saying “Father, what are you doing?” to hold him back but failed to because he was too passionate.

How did your father reveal that he decided to name his collection after you? Was it a special occasion?
He said, “I name the collection after you because you are the one thing that I care for the most.” He always told this, in front of crowds or on special occasions. It was the first time I saw my name on a TUYAP catalogue.

Bingül Cerrahoğlu
(Hüma Kabakçı’s mother)

“I’d like my daughter to do the job she loves”

I too like art, as an amateur artist myself, but Nahit was the one who prepared Hüma on paintings for the last couple of years. I merely supported her during this organization. I would like my daughter to finish university, and gain deeper academic knowledge on the subject. I too of course will aid her in finding her own path. I would want her to study her favorite subject. When you’re engaged with the job you love, the possibility of becoming successful naturally increases. I would like her to do the job because she loves it.

Deniz Alphan
Milliyet Pazar