Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;
I am very deligted to be here with you today to open this fascinating exhibition of book art. It is indeed a pleasure to witness this exhibition in Ankara after Istanbul, and to enjoy the result of the cooperation between the National Library of Turkey, the Naum Book Art group and the Embassy of Finland. Bbook's history dates back to clay tables of Sumerians and Hittites, and papyrus scrolls of Egyptians. The book in its western meaning and form appeared with the discovering of papermaking and later with the invention of book printing in the 15th century. The age of manuscript book production before the printed books left many wonderful exemples in the libraries in Europe and in Turkey, as well.
Today artists of this exhibition introduce yet another concept of book to you, 'an artist's book'. Artist's books are not books about art; they are art expressed through book form. The content and form of a book are considered together, and given equal significance, the book becomes more than a simple container for information. The goal of many book artists is to involve the reader actively in the viewing process, not only to see the words but also to think about how the words, pictures and physical form of the object all contribute to the meaning.
The works of art in this exhibition come from Finland. NAUM Book Art is a group of Finnish and foreign artists living in Finland. The group has been founded in 2003 and since then it is actively promoting artists' books by exhibiting them in abroad and in Finland as well. This exhibition has been displayed earlier in Paris and in Berlin, and to Ankara it comes from Istanbul. In Finland the concept of artist's book is fairly new but thanks to the NAUM Book Art group we have become familiar with this fascinating form of art in recent years. As to my knowledge there is also a group of artists working in this field of art in Istanbul, so in the near future there might be also a Turkish book art exhibition in this beautiful exhibition hall .
We are very grateful to the National Library for hosting this exhibition. We are especially grateful to Mr. Tuncel Acar, Director of the library for his cooperation in realizing this exhibition. The idea of bringing this exhibition to Turkey came from Mr. Reha Keskintepe, Ambassador of Turkey to Finland, who has seen these works in an exhibition in Helsinki. We address him our gratitude for the excellent cooperation and dialogue we have with the Embassy of Turkey in Helsinki. I would like to thank the whole team in the National Library for the wonderful work and effort in realizing this exhibition and we are looking forward the continuation of the exhibition changes and cooperation between the National Library of Finland and National Library of Turkey.