A historically central district, Balat today is just another part of Istanbul where the century-old residents are being replaced by a new cosmopolitan crowd and where the ancient historical elements could only be revealed by an attentive touch. The portrait works that compose the majority of the exhibition both capture its subjects’ spontaneity while they are unaware of being photographed and record them during moments of self-surrender. The visitors witness how Balat is ever building-up its new identities, after loosing numerous old ones, through Bingaz’s camera’s odd relationship with its subjects.
Bingaz is a self-educated photographer and participated in various international workshops, which gave her an opportunity to work closely with major photographers in a number of countries and most notably in France, since 2001. Her first work was a story of an Iraqi immigrant woman named Beyan and Bingaz worked with her three years starting from 2001. At the same period in 2002, she started working on her ongoing project titled Coast. Coast was shown at the venue Depo in Istanbul in 2007, at the Kalfayan Gallery in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2008, as well at Istanbul Modern as part of the Uncanny Encounters in 2011. She took part in EU Women, a Project presented in 2007 in Lodz, Paris, Sevilla and New York. In 2010 she was invited to the Japanese city Tottori as one of the photographers under the exchange program European Eyes on Japan. A selection from Bingaz’s Works in Tottori was shown at Pilevneli Project in 2013 and then a comprehensive selection was made into a book titled Japan Coast and published by Andre Freres Editions in Marseille, France. In 2012, her series Insider was commisioned by Espace Culturel Louise Vuitton and exhibited under Journeys: Wanderings in Contemporary Turkey. Silva Bingaz was born in Malatya, Eastern Turkey; she lives and works in Istanbul.