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Fotografie Chantal van lobbrecht

Cenk Gungor

Cenk Gungor (1995, Balıkesir, Turkey) is a Turkish illustrator, animator, and graphic designer. After spending an important part of his youth being one of the 17 million people living in Istanbul, he moved to Amsterdam as a student in 2018. His primary goal was to be able to commit to a creative life without the fear of economic pressures and social judgment, however he found himself in the world of advertising. 

In his art he is inspired by Franco-Belgian comics, Studio Ghibli animations, and the morbid world of the American alternative comic scene. Fascinated yet irritated by crowds, he depicts the mundane moments of city life with intricate details and with a surreal twist.

DOE NORMAAL dan ben je al genoeg een vreemdeling

Cenk Gungor, Installation with prints on PVC and “Guess Who” game, 2024

Anyone can be a stranger. Especially when everyone else is normal. And sometimes being a stranger makes everything else seem strange.

In the official Dutch immigration lingo, “foreigner” is translated as “vreemdeling” which literally means “stranger” But what is so strange about someone who is not from here? 

Amsterdam increasingly receives a flux of foreigners in the form of immigrants, expats, students, or anything in between. This causes an inevitable clash between locals and newcomers. When standing on the different sides of the fence, it is easy to interpret the other as abnormal. But in reality, is it the locals who show their monstrous faces to a stranger, or does a stranger tend to victimize himself, alienating everyone else?

In this series, which aims to be the start of a larger story in different media, Cenk combines his experience as a foreigner who moved to Amsterdam a while ago and his love for humorous observation. He depicts everyday moments that are undeniably ordinary for locals, yet extremely unusual for someone from outside. In this case this someone is a humanoid dog called Garip. Garip is a Turkish word that is hard to translate, as it combines the meanings of strange, miserable, and foreign. Using monsters as Garip’s interpretations of strangers’ behaviors, Cenk materializes two sides of the local versus foreigner discussion. 

In these three pieces, he taps into traditional animation techniques, such as smear and layering, in order to show movements deemed “niet normaal” in a static medium.


cenk 06x@06x

Insta: @gungorcenk

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