Ahu Akgün was born in 1985 in Istanbul. She graduated from Üsküdar American Academy in 2004 and from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Painting Department in 2009. She continued her art education in Munster Kunst Akademie between 2006- 2007, Munster, Germany, and Burg Giebichenstein Hochschule fur Kunst und Design, Halle, Germany between 2009-2010. In 2018, she graduated from Sabanci University, Visual Arts and Communication Design Master's program She participated in group exhibitions such as in 2016 Mamut Art Project, in 2018 “Over and Over” at Mixerarts, in 2020 “Us Actually” curated by director Can Kilcioglu. Also in 2019 she win Akbank 37th Contemporary Artist Prize. She still lives and produces in Istanbul.
I produce works that focus on my personal encounters. I often find my topics in moments that are normalized in everyday life. I devise these moments from being details and construct them as heroes of my production. I convey my topics through subjects such as the association of two close friends, the effort of a group of people to stay in balance together, the reflection of the lethargy created by the agenda and the documentation of how many centimeters my hand span is.
I have been working on the concept of “distance” for a while, and in my works, I have been following an approach to close the distances between us. I define figure painting as the form in which I express myself the best. I think that the most important factor behind the incarnation of the sentiment is that the figures I depict through looking into their eyes, turn into viewers rather than being observed by revealing their own existence. In general, I tend to the narrative of female figures of whom I share with co-concerns and co-emotions. By putting myself at the center of other people’s lives and with my interest in painting, I live and paint their experiences like my own. As if each could be considered as a self-portrait.
Alongside figure painting, for a while now, I have been searching for the co-emotions that landscape painting can convey towards closing the distances. With the paintings I produce by zooming in the photographs I have previously taken; I paint self-portraits in spaces I could not have physically been to or have seen.