Cengiz Özek

Style of Art : Master craftsman / puppet maker, performer, stage director
Branch of Art : Shadow puppetry: Karagöz, stage arts
Art Profile :

Cengiz Özek was born in Istanbul in 1964. He graduated from the Department of Theater at Istanbul Municipality Conservatory. He also learned illumination, miniature, calligraphy and restoration work at Prof. Dr. Süheyl Ünver’s classes which were organized in Mimar Sinan University. Later Özek worked as an adviser and illuminator in many restoration works of several historical buildings. During his high school years, Özek learned how to make Karagöz figures from his teacher, Ali Kıyak. He researched and learned about Karagöz to enrich his knowledge, visiting museums and private collections. As of today, his Karagöz figures, made with camel leather, have been exhibited in many museums including the National Museum of Holland.

Özek was one of the committee members to found the Turkish Stage Arts Museum. He served as an adviser on Traditional Turkish Theater in the museum. He has worked as a director, actor, assistant stage manager, and stage director in many theatres in Istanbul. He has also designed many stage decorations and posters. He founded and managed the “Gallery Kenter” to be able to exhibit young artist’s works in a foyer of the Kenter Theatre.

As a member of UNIMA, Özek founded Cengiz Özek Shadow Theatre in 1993. The aim of the company is to present modern plays, which originate from Traditional Turkish Theatre and to perform puppet shows. The first his play was the “Dünyayı Sev, Yeşili Koru / Love the Earth, Protect the Green”, which was based on the shamanistic sources of Karagöz. His last play, a black theatre project “Benim Küçük Yıldızım / My Little Star”, has reached a great audience in Istanbul. Having a vast repertoire of classical Karagöz plays, the Cengiz Özek Shadow Theatre produced its first modern interpretation of Karagöz with “Çöp Canavarı / Garbage Monster” in 1998. Özek received a Merit Award from UNIMA for his support to the Turkish Puppet Theatre. He gave lessons in the School of Karagöz, which was founded by Çocuk Vakfı (the Children’s Foundation). In 1998 he won the Karagöz Award.

In 1998 Özek organized the first Istanbul International Puppet Festival. It was the first attempt in its context with performers and companies from all over the world.  The main subject of the festival was to introduce puppet theatre to Turkish Theatre and audience. It is an annual festival and is very popular nowadays in Turkey. He also established the Izmir International Puppet Festival in 2006 for the same purpose. He arranged the “Festival Honor Award”, which is awarded to a great contributor of Turkish Puppets. In 2003 Özek received the “Theatre Honorary Award” from the Turkish Terakki Foundation for outstanding achievements in Turkish Theater. In 2008 he received an Honorary Award, the “Best Traditional Performance” for the play “Çöp Canavarı / Garbage Monster” by the Puppet Association in Hungary.

Since 1989, Özek has been invited to many countries and has performed more than 500 shows as well as workshops and exhibitions. Currently he teaches on Turkish Traditional Theater and Turkish Puppet Arts at Kocaeli University.

Selected Festivals he performed:

Atatürk Association, 23rd April Celebrations, Germany
Istanbul International Puppet Festival, Turkey
Vienna International Children Festival, Austria
Lahor International Puppet Festival, Pakistan
Mistellbach International Puppet Festival, Austria 
Strasbourg Days of Turkish Culture, France

Vienna Turkish Days, Austria
Istanbul International Puppet Festival, Turkey
Catanya International Puppet Festival, Italy
Naples International Puppet Festival, Italy
Chicago International Puppet Festival, USA
Incanti, Torino, Italy
Bursa International Karagöz Festival, Turkey

International Puppet Festival, Wels, Austria
Amsterdam Turkish Theatre Festival, Netherlands
Istanbul International Puppet Festival, Turkey
Prague International Puppet Festival, Czech Rep.
Rijeka Puppet Festival, Croatia
International Puppet Festival, Barcelona, Spain
Tolosa International Puppet Festival, Spain
Gijon International Puppet Festival, Spain
Alicante International Puppet Festival, Spain

International Puppet Festival, Mistelbach, Austria
International Puppet Festival Beirut, Lebanon
Van–Istanbul meetings, Van, Turkey
Tunis, International Children Theatre, Tunisia
Istanbul International Puppet Festival, Turkey
Evora International Puppet Festival, Portugal

International Children Theatre Festival, Neapolis, Tunisia
Xth International Puppet Festival, Teheran, Iran
Vth International Puppet Festival, Colle Umberto, Italy
VIIth International Puppet Festival, Casale Montferrato, Italy
VIth International Puppet Festival, Locarno, Switzerland
IVth International Puppet Festival, Ovar, Portugal
IIIrd International Puppet Festival, Famalicao, Portugal
VIIth International Puppet Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
Puppets days, Cali, Colombia
Puppets days, Hanoi, Vietnam

International Children Theatre Festival, Neapolis, Tunisia
Days of Traviso Culture, Traviso, Italy
Lahor International Puppet Festival, Pakistan
International Puppet Festival, Izmir, Turkey
VIIIth International Alternative Theatre Festival, Szeged, Hungary
International Punch Festival at Wiener Prater, Austria
World Festival of Puppet Art, Prague, Check Rep.
VIIth International Puppet Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
Children Theatre Festival, Marrakech, Morocco
Turkish days, Strasbourg, France
International Puppet Festival, Tirana, Albania

Lahore International Festival, Pakistan
The Turks in the middle of Asia and Europe, Trento, Italy
Girne Olive Festival, Girne, Nord Cyprus
World Puppet Festival, Charleville, Mezieres, France
International Theatre Festival, Nord Cyprus
Children Theatre Festival, Antalya, Turkey
International Sarospatak Puppet Days, Sarospatak, Hungary
Multikids International Children Festival, Vienna, Austria
IXth International Puppet Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
International Children Theatre Festival, Bosnai, Sarayevo

International Children’s Festival, Neapolis, Tunus
The new year of the societies, Lecce, Italy
International Afife Festival, Portugal
Eskisehir Festival, Eskisehir, Turkey
Eskisehir Festival, Eskisehir, Turkey
Welcome Ramadan, Köln, Germany
Cyprus Olive Festival, Girne, Cyprus
International Puppet Festival, Santiago de compostela, Spain
Le Festival Figure, Rome, Italy
Vertrag Pannopticum, Vienna
Black and White, Imatra, Finland
Glasgow Puppet Festival 2007, Scotland
Dynamic Puppet Festival 2007, Birmingham, England
International Istanbul Puppet Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
1st International Izmir Puppet Days, Turkey
23 April Holland Turkish Festival, Holland

Eskisehir International Festival, Turkey
Mistelbach International Puppet Festival, Austria
Parma Puppet Festival, Italy
Budapest Cultural Festival, Hungary
Castale Mare Puppet Festival, Napoli, Italy
Barese Puppet Festival, Italy
Arlekino Domani, Milano, Italy
Sarospatak Puppet Festival, Hungary
Minifest Istanbul, Turkey
Book Festival, Seoul, Korea
Art Festival, Taiwan
Titirimundi Puppet Festival, Segovia, Spain
Izmir Puppet Days, Izmir, Turkey
International Istanbul Puppet Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
23 April International Fair of Children, Amsterdam, Holland
International Puppet Days, Rome, Italy

Reference: cengizozek.org; cengizozek.blogspot.com; images.google.com.tr


Foundation : Cengiz Özek Shadow Theater
Web Site : www.cengizozek.org
City : Istanbul
Country : Turkey
Preferred Lang. : Turkish
Images :