Heidi Trautmann

824 - Görsel Notlar/Visual Notes or the The Little Black Fish by Gökhan Okur

By Heidi Trautmann

There is something of Japanese art philosophy in the art work I had gone to see one afternoon at the ArtRooms in The House. Inspired by the famous tale ‘The Little Black Fish’ by the Iranian children books writer Samed Behrengi, published in 1974, the artist Gökhan Okur completed the series of his world of fishes within the time frame of 2004 to 2015 in various techniques, from huge acrylic paintings to small silk screen prints. They are connected to each other by his beautiful red signature logo.

During the last ten years I have come across the Little Black Fish as inspiration for many other art forms, with Cypriot artists giving their interpretation of migration and leaving isolation, it also served as plot for a theatre play. The story is quickly told:

An old fish is speaking to her 12,000 children and grandchildren, describing the journey of a small black fish who leaves the safety of the local stream to venture into the world.

The path of the little fish leads down a waterfall and along the length of the river to the sea. Along the way the fish meets several interesting characters, including a helpful lizard and the dreaded pelican. With both wisdom and courage, the fish travels far indeed, and the tale ends with the little black fish as an example for others.

It is a touching story which still moves people, and so I go along the ArtRoom walls with this story in my mind. A symbol. The graphic presentation of an important symbol for freedom and for trying to understand other worlds.


Gökhan Okur, born in 1969 in Ankara, has come to live and work in North Cyprus in 2006 as a lecturer at the Near East University Fine Arts and Design Faculty, Graphic Design Department. Having graduated from the Restoration Dept. of Trakya University Edirne, Technical Sciences Vocational School, he entered the Graphic Dept of the Fine Arts Faculty at Hacettepe University where he worked as researcher and lecturer and in which he graduated in 1995. He gained his masters degree in 1998 and went on to complete his qualification programmein art in 2010.


The exhibition is still open until 20 November 2015, viewing times are according to the opening times of the restaurant The House.

Contact and information: Oya Silbery 0542 856 7077


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