Berk Kaan Kaya doesn't create calming spaces for clients. He extends “peace of mind” into the virtual world. He speaks to Steph Kunkel about connecting human mood to digital environment, and how his dreamscapes build a backdrop for collectors to imagine their own safe havens.
Most artists create a composition and hope that it will win appreciation for everything that it is, rather than what it is not. For Berk Kaan Kaya, however, the beauty of his creations lies in their capacity for addition. His carefully designed and thoughtfully curated digital spaces act as a springboard for the imagination to weave its own tale, and construct a landscape of emotions.
Berk Kaan Kaya is a multidisciplinary artist and architect based in Turkey. Discovering a love for painting and drawing as a child, he eventually pursued a career in interior design. “3D work has always interested me,” Berk says, “and the creative freedom that it affords has provided a good opportunity to bring the things that I had dreamed of to life. 3D art is my escape point. It’s where I found myself.”
Berk argues that the interior design which surrounds us impacts our mood and behaviours in ways that we do not anticipate. “Whilst I was studying interior architecture, I spent lots of time observing the effects of places on people,” he recounts. Realising the impact that design can have on emotions, Berk began to experiment with spacial elements in his designs. Using 3DsMax, CoronaRenderer, and Photoshop, he creates alluring pieces comprising soothing colours and multiple layers, culminating in detailed storyscapes.
“3D art is my escape point.”
— Berk Kaan Kaya
Berk's landscapes are a direct transition from dream to digital reality. In the same way that the human nervous system reacts to its exterior environment, Berk’s artwork inextricably links his own consciousness to the habitats that he creates.
“The elements that I use in my designs allow people to think about how we interact and move through different spaces every day,” he says. But his work also invites the viewer to envision themselves within these spaces, enchanting them to step inside and create a world of their own. Inspired by “the fine line that connects realism and surrealism”, Berk's dreamy constructions, therefore, act as the perfect springboard for onlookers to create such narratives.
“My creative process starts by building peaceful places where people can focus on their dreams and step away from reality. I reflect on human emotions and themes: coming out of your shell, creating your own 'garden' despite hardships, and feeling the growing longing inside of you.”
In no piece is this purpose clearer than in Chrysalis. For Berk, Chrysalis evokes the rebirth of the soul: an ethereal transition that occurs when a person is truly at one with their surroundings. “That moment when our souls fly freely in a space is when we create our truest selves,” Berk explains, encompassing the dreamlike state that is so key to his artwork. Washing over you with a tranquillity and peacefulness that permits the mind to freely explore itself, Chrysalis merges soft pastel tones with hard natural elements to create a whirl of whimsicality.
Berk’s Miss, on the other hand, carries the mind to an otherworldly luxury resort. The image of a beautiful arched building gives an elegance to the piece, while the overgrown trees and greenery that merge with it add a sense of approachability, rendering the environment warm and inviting. The sunlight that floods in from the mountainous background creates an iridescent gleam across the water, whilst the circular lanterns illuminate the heart of the building and boat, creating a peaceful glow from within.
With ivy ascending the walls and enveloping the roof, bring viewers to a dreamlike state at the synthesis of nature and architected perfection is a common trope for Berk. Soon after he started to create digital art, Berk then began exploring the world of web3 and NFTs. “Web3 has had an influential and positive impact on my artistic career,” he states. “And the encouraging NFT community has motivated me to grow as an artist. The best thing about web3 is that it allows artists to create freely and be ourselves.”
Motivated by creating unique, detailed stories through compositions of various structural elements, colours, and materials, Berk creates vivid and dreamlike works of art. In doing so, the viewer can step into Berk’s world and explore his art as they see fit; to imagine what they would do and be within the space, to create a world of their own. “It makes me happy to activate people's emotions through my art,” Berk says.
His landscapes are a language of emotions: a pathway to our truest selves. In Berk's words, “It's all about the clarity of the space.”
“Web3 has allowed me to freely realise my dreams.”
— Berk Kaan Kaya
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