Gulsah AYLA Bayrak is an artist based in Belgium. She grew up in both the Turkish and Belgian cultures. This clash made her a bridge between east and west. The artist focuses on Individual experience, cultural diaspora and the role of society in her life. 


Bloody Hamam

Perhaps we could arrive at a different understanding of what orientalism entails today: It is not just the act of physical travel and motion between the past and present, but rather, the erosion of the idea of place as a whole.

In Bloody Hamam, we can experience this motion between places less as a trajectory and more as an interruption. The artist translates its experiences, emotions and ideas into pictures, performances and objects; what is happening there is not that she tries to destroy or obscure the purpose, but changing or removing the context, sometimes humorously, adds unexpected layers. By translating her experiences and knowledge, Ayla takes us on a journey from east to west, from past to present and tries to display what it feels like to undergo orientalism today.

Disapearing man

Disappearing man is about my dad, who moved to Belgium for the love of his life, giving up his dream job and his life in Turkey.He had to start his life all over again. He accomplished a lot in a short period, but he was always seen as a foreigner, which made him very depressed. After barely five years, he and his friends, who worked in the same factory, got cancer. From a proud man, I witnessed how my dad changed to a very depressed and worn man. With age, he slowly erased parts of himself, causing him to lose his identity and just be a Turkish man from Turkey.

Location: Turkey, Belgium 

The 외국인

I got the chance to study in Seoul. In the middle of the pandemic, I decided to go even though it was pretty risky. But I knew I had to go out of my comfort zone since it was a thought year full of quarantine and negative thoughts. Once I arrived, I felt like I had landed in a whole new world. I could not speak the language, nor did I know a single person. I was extremely overwhelmed and decided I would take walks every morning. It became a habit, and I decided to photograph the beautiful city that brought me back to life. I started to notice beauty in even the most simple things. Being alone and exploring this big city full of surprises taught me that I needed very little to become very happy. Nature, exploring, and a beautiful walk through the city with my earphones was everything I could wish for.

Location: South-Korea

Social Invisibility

I portray the situation of the veiled woman, and I highlight the position of these women in society and mainstream media. By taking away their entire face, I bring a statement and criticism to the lack of presence of these women in the public domain. By not giving them a platform, they have no voice in the social debate and are therefore stigmatized too quickly.

Location: Belgium