Imanaka Interiors is a UK based online gallery seeking to exhibit artworks that are unique in style and expression. All of the artists involved have their individual way of exploring life and what is beyond that. The website is committed to offering exposure to well-established artists on their dedicated pages, featuring works, biographies and artist statements. Aesthetica speaks to Director Gulay Ozagac and a number of the artists working with the gallery about the vision behind the company.
A: What are the benefits of an online gallery?
II: We started Imanaka because we wanted to give visibility to a kind of art that we believe doesn’t get enough attention. In Britain we have the tradition of the Arts and Crafts movement, which lifted traditional craftsmanship to a level that was closer to the arts. We also observed that there was a gap between the officially promoted Contemporary Art that appeals to the brain and Fantasy and New-Age imaginary that often lacks any emotional and intellectual depth. We wanted to explore the art that lies between these two and demonstrates well-founded craftsmanship along with emotional and intellectual depth. The reason we chose to exhibit this art on an online platform was because we though it would reach a wide audience, geographically, socially and culturally. We are influenced by the context we live in but we want to act on a global scale and reach as many people as possible. There is no threshold to visit us online, there is no fee, no obligation, and full anonymity is guaranteed – all people need is an Internet connection. And if they want to contact us, they can; without any obligation or marketing trick from our side.
A: How do you select the artists you exhibit?
II: We want to run our business on a human level and not choose artists because their works are easy to sell. In fact, it took us more than two years to bring the current group together. We choose based on several criteria. First of all we look at how well the inspiration is matched by the technical execution. Second, (because we also have to work together), we must have affinity with the artists’ characters. We have worked alongside our artists over a long period of time and have a good understanding of their personal views on artistic approach and the industry. Together, we all agree on the fact we think selling art needs a new direction. None of our artists create pieces that would only be considered to be an investment. Instead, we work with those who have demonstrated that they have their own creative expression, not reliant on trends. Finally, the art has to be good! Technical virtuosity is not what it’s all about; we need to feel an affinity with the pieces that goes beyond any explanation.
A: The subtitle to your site is “Living Spaces” – what do you mean by that?
II: “Living Spaces” refers to the timelessness of experiencing art. This is also related to our name Imanaka, which means “manifestation of all time in a single moment which is multi-layered and multi-dimensional.” The works of artists at Imanaka Interiors are very detailed and executed painstakingly with technical excellence. Once encountered, the works offer art lovers the chance to interact continually, creating living spaces and enriching lives. There is so much to experience. We suggest the viewers would abandon all previous conceptions and experience a new sense of art through the works of these artists. Like Irish poet John O’Donohue wrote so eloquently: “It is strange to be here, the mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you”
A: What do you have planned for the future?
II: We are convinced that the art world not only needs to change, but that it is in fact already changing. The internet has opened up the whole world for anyone interested in art. It has become clear that outside the big cities a lot has been going on. This inevitably leads to big changes in the way artists, art dealers and art lovers and collectors interact with one another. We believe that if change wants to be real, it should not be based on what was, which inevitably leads to a dependency on the past, but it should be a natural progession. Trying to force something new would limit us and only leave us looking for a hole in the market. We do not plan our future, instead we seek to stay alert and be sensitive to the growth of Imanaka, to allow it to evolve organically. Instead of wanting to change the art-scene, we want to independently do our own thing and stand for what we believe in.
For more information and to visit the gallery head to www.imanaka-interiors.co.uk.
1. Python by Erik Heyninck.
2. The Chess-Board by Fitnat Katircioglu.