We are pleased to present a duo presentation by Ayşen Kaptanoğlu and Xiaoxiao Xu at the third edition of Art Island. The art fair will be held from Friday, May 17th to Sunday, May 19th at Fort Island, situated just off the coast of IJmuiden. 

Together with 34 art galleries and institutions, we will exhibit a selection of works from within the underground tunnels of the Fort. Fort Island, located in the port of IJmuiden at the North Sea Canal, creates a unique aura, enveloping the galleries through its history as part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam and as a UNESCO World Heritage site. art-island.nl

Ayşen Kaptanoğlu, from Silivri, Turkey (1985) situates her figures within the tumultuous contexts surrounding gender dynamics, violence against women, and tensions of pleasure, pain and nostalgia. By using aesthetics from her own culture, motifs of ornately patterned carpets, draped fabrics, and traditional ceremonies ground her work in the personal. Explaining, “In my search to express the pain and anger I feel towards the growing violence against women and its politics, I explore violence and its origins. I use memory and self-experience to understand what doesn’t make sense.” Underneath the vibrant brushstrokes lies a story that reflects her journey as a woman navigating the intricate web of male dominance. Shifting from a career in literature to the visual arts, she graduated from Wackers Academy in 2021 and is now a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.

Xiaoxiao Xu, born in southeast Qingtian, China (1984), explores the narrative of her own journey as a Chinese immigrant, who moved to the Netherlands in her teenage years. Working with photography, Xu navigates her position as both an insider and outsider, unraveling a distinct perspective that is a semblance of two cultural identities. Photographing for Xu represents an exploration of the latitudes and longitudes that Xu navigates: “It depends very much on the background and culture you’re from, what you see. It’s like in language: if people want to express their ideas quickly they talk in clichés. To prevent such clichés, I actually prefer silence to talking. In the same way, I like emptiness in images. Among various projects, Xiaoxiao Xu has published photobooks such as ‘Shooting the Tiger’ and ‘Watering My Horse by a Spring at the Foot of the Long Wall'. At the moment she has an exhibition in Switzerland “Human. Child." a collaboration between the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum Switzerland.